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State v. All Pro Paint & Body Shop

Supreme Court of Louisiana
639 So. 2d 707 (La. 1994)


Facts

On December 5, 1990, William J. Hampton (defendant), the owner of All Pro Paint & Body Shop, Inc. (defendant) paid a scrap dealer to dispose of spent paint thinner. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) discovered the containers, which had been improperly disposed of, and determined they were hazardous waste under the Louisiana Hazardous Waste Control Law (HWCL). A grand jury indicted the defendants for knowingly transporting, storing, and disposing hazardous waste in a manner they knew or should have known would place others in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. Under HWCL § 2183(G)(2) a conviction of that offense was punishable by a fine of not more than $250,000 per day of violation, imprisonment for not more than 15 years, or both. The defendants pled not guilty and moved to quash the indictment on the ground that the Louisiana legislature unconstitutionally delegated legislative authority to the executive branch. The trial court denied the motion to quash and convicted the defendants of illegal transportation and disposal of hazardous waste. The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal reversed, finding § 2183(G)(2) unconstitutionally delegated legislative authority to define a felony. The State of Louisiana (plaintiff) appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kimball, J.)

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