33 CFR § 326.5 - Legal action.

§ 326.5 Legal action.

(a) General. For cases the district engineer determines to be appropriate, he will recommend criminal or civil actions to obtain penalties for violations, compliance with the orders and directives he has issued pursuant to §§ 326.3 and 326.4, or other relief as appropriate. Appropriate cases for criminal or civil action include, but are not limited to, violations which, in the district engineer's opinion, are willful, repeated, flagrant, or of substantial impact.

(b) Preparation of case. If the district engineer determines that legal action is appropriate, he will prepare a litigation report or such other documentation that he and the local U.S. Attorney have mutually agreed to, which contains an analysis of the information obtained during his investigation of the violation or during the processing of a permit application and a recommendation of appropriate legal action. The litigation report or alternative documentation will also recommend what, if any, restoration or mitigative measures are required and will provide the rationale for any such recommendation.

(c) Referral to the local U.S. Attorney. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, district engineers are authorized to refer cases directly to the U.S. Attorney. Because of the unique legal system in the Trust Territories, all cases over which the Department of Justice has no authority will be referred to the Attorney General for the trust Territories. Information copies of all letters of referral shall be forwarded to the appropriate division counsel, the Office, Chief of Engineers, ATTN: DAEN-CCK, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), and the Chief of the Environmental Defense Section, Lands and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice.

(d) Referral to the Office, Chief of Engineers. District engineers will forward litigation reports with recommendations through division offices to the Office, Chief of Engineers, ATTN: DAEN-CCK, for all cases that qualify under the following criteria:

(1) Significant precedential or controversial questions of law or fact;

(2) Requests for elevation to the Washington level by the Department of Justice;

(3) Violations of section 9 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899;

(4) Violations of section 103 the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972;

(5) All cases involving violations by American Indians (original of litigation report to DAEN-CCI with copy to DAEN-CCK) on reservation lands or in pursuit of specific treaty rights;

(6) All cases involving violations by officials acting on behalf of foreign governments; and

(7) Cases requiring action pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section.

(e) Legal option not available. In cases where the local U.S. Attorney declines to take legal action, it would be appropriate for the district engineer to close the enforcement case record unless he believes that the case warrants special attention. In that situation, he is encouraged to forward a litigation report to the Office, Chief of Engineers, ATTN: DAEN-CCK, for direct coordination through the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) with the Department of Justice. Further, the case record should not be closed if the district engineer anticipates that further administrative enforcement actions, taken in accordance with the procedures prescribed in this part, will identify remedial measures which, if not complied with by the parties responsible for the violation, will result in appropriate legal action at a later date.

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