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      RS 30:2026     

  

§2026.  Citizen suits

A.(1)  Except as provided in Subsection (B) of this Section, any person having an interest, which is or may be adversely affected, may commence a civil action on his own behalf against any person whom he alleges to be in violation of this Subtitle or of the regulations promulgated hereunder.  The action must be brought either in the district court in the parish in which the violation or alleged violation occurs or in the district court of the domicile of the alleged violator, and shall be afforded preferential hearing by the court.

(2)  If, at the hearing on the order, it appears to the satisfaction of the court that a violation has occurred, or is occurring, the court may, in order to enforce the provisions of this Subtitle, assess a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars for each day of the continued noncompliance and the court may, if appropriate, issue a temporary or permanent injunction.

(3)  The court in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to this Section, may award costs of court including reasonable attorneys and expert witness fees to the prevailing party.  The court may also award actual damages to the prevailing plaintiff.  The judgment of the court at the hearing, or subsequently on a petition for fixing the penalty if the violation is a continuing one, shall fix the total amount of penalty due, which shall be collectible under the same procedures as now fixed by law for the collection of money judgments and shall be awarded to and collected by the state of Louisiana and deposited into the state treasury.

B.  No action under this Section shall be commenced under Subsection A:

(1)  Prior to thirty days after the plaintiff has given written notice of the violation to the secretary and to any alleged violator by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(2)  If the secretary or his legal counsel has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil or criminal action in a court of this state to require compliance with any standard, limitation, or order; however, in any such action any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected may intervene as a matter of right.

(3)  If the alleged violator is operating under a variance and is in compliance with the terms of such variance.

(4)  Against any person while such person, with respect to the same violation is:

(a)  Under any order issued pursuant to this Subtitle to enforce any provision of this Subtitle.

(b)  A defendant in any civil suit brought under the provisions of R.S. 30:2025.

(c)  The subject of an action to assess and collect a civil penalty pursuant to R.S. 30:2025(E).

C.  Provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to limit or deny any person's right to injunctive or other extraordinary and ordinary relief under the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure or otherwise under Louisiana law, other than this Section.

D.  The enforcement, procedures, and remedies herein provided for shall be in addition to any such procedures and remedies authorized under the laws of this state.

Acts 1979, No. 449, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980.  Amended by Acts 1980, No. 194, §5; Acts 1980, No. 748, §4; Acts 1981, No. 702, §1, eff. July 23, 1981; Acts 1983, No. 97, §1, eff. Feb. 1, 1984; Acts 1993, No. 344, §1; Acts 1993, No. 452, §1.



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