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Couch White Prevails Against the United States of America in CERCLA Lien Challenge

The Northern District of New York recently ruled in favor of a property owner in denying a motion to reopen filed by the United States Department of Justice.  The United States sought to reopen a 2010 final judgment in a case that it had previously urged the Court to close.  The United States’ motions sought affirmative relief regarding the CERCLA Lien awarded in the original case.  Since the 2010 close of the case, the property was foreclosed, sold, and significant environmental cleanup and development has occurred.  The United States decided, seven years post-judgment, to ask the Northern District to reopen the case to confirm that, notwithstanding foreclosure, its CERCLA Lien remained in place.  The Northern District reviewed the United States’ request in great detail, and concluded that, as urged by Couch White Attorneys Adam Schultz, Alita Giuda, and Madeline Goralski, the United States failed to meet its burden to show why the Court should reopen this matter after it had been closed for seven years.