Florida Judge Blasts Agency for Extortion

Liberty Matters News Service


Coy Koontz, a Florida landowner, sued the St. John's River Water Management District (SJRWMD) for denying him use of his property without paying compensation.

A Circuit Court Judge ruled for Koontz and the water district appealed. The SJRWMD was unanimously refused a hearing by Florida's 5th District Court of Appeals and one Judge, Robert J. Pleus, wrote a scathing denunciation of the District's actions. Water district scientist, Elizabeth Johnson, had concluded Koontz's proposed development of three and seven-tenths acres would adversely affect fish and wildlife, even though none were observed on his fourteen acres.

As a condition for allowing Koontz to "use" his property, he was required by SJRWMD to perform offsite mitigation for the unseen fish and wildlife five to six miles from his property, an "out-and-out" plan of extortion, according to Judge Pleus. The good judge's opinion exposed the flagrant misuse of power exercised by government agencies that cloak their extortionate actions under the blanket of "Sovereign Immunity."


Water Management District rebuffed in appeals court - Brevard Insider


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