South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Tensions Remain High in our Bays & Bears Case
Posted: February 18, 2016

Disregard for the judicial process, in addition to wildlife and special habitats, is modus operandi in Horry County. In November 2016, federal District Judge Bryan Harwell denied our motion for a preliminary injunction and revoked his temporary restraining order halting further filling of wetlands and work on the LOBHP side of the road. We have since appealed that decision to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Court of Appeals granted a stay on construction of International Drive on December 15, 2016, and also issued an order clarifying that the stay meant Horry County must halt all work on the road project on December 20, 2016. However, the Court then granted the County's motion to perform limited work to stabilize the site on December 22, 2016 and to entirely vacate the stay on January 20, 2017. We asked the Court of Appeals to reconsider given that there had been no change in facts or circumstances warranting a reversal of its original ruling, but the Court declined. On February 16, 2017, we filed a petition for extraordinary relief with the Supreme Court urging it to step in and issue a stay in order to preserve judicial review and prevent contested issues from becoming moot. We expect the Supreme Court will render a decision in short order.

Meanwhile, we have been filing our appellate briefs in both the state appeal and the 4th Circuit appeal from the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction. Oral arguments in the Court of Appeals are set for April 18, 2017.

Download available Court of Appeals Stay Order in Bays & Bears Case

Download available Press Release on Court of Appeals Stay Order