On September 4, the Arizona Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Hopi Tribe v. Arizona Snowbowl Resort, et al., the Hopi Tribe’s public nuisance claim against Arizona Snowbowl’s snow making practices.

The Arizona Court of Appeals found that Snowbowl’s snowmaking with reclaimed wastewater caused “a special injury, different in kind than that suffered by the general public, by interfering with places of special cultural and religious significance to the Tribe.”

Snowbowl alleged that the appellate court ruling mischaracterized the issue and ended up creating a new category for special injury. It further argued that the appellate court’s ruling allows any interference of a location believed to be of special importance to any person to qualify as a special injury, opening the door for any person in the future to claim “special harm” on public land.

Oral arguments can be viewed here. The oral argument summary was prepared by the Arizona Supreme Court Staff Attorneys’ Office solely for educational purposes. It should not be considered official commentary by the court or any member thereof or part of any brief, memorandum or other pleading filed in this case.

Lauren Klosinski

ALI Staff

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