concurring: agreeing; a concurring justice agrees with the opinion with which he or she concurs; a separate concurring opinion agrees with part of the majority opinion or with the result, but may disagree with another part of the majority opinion or may disagree with how the result was reached.
condemn: a government taking. A government condemns private property when it takes it for public use or for violation of a code which authorizes condemnation, such as a health or safety code or nonpayment of taxes.
dissent: an opinion by a minority of justices deciding a case explaining why they disagree with the majority opinion. A dissent does not have the force of law, but may be used persuasively in future cases as to why the law should change.
eminent domain: when a government takes the property of a private person for public use. Under both the Michigan and United States constitutions, governments may do this only if they provide just compensation for the property.
majority: the majority of a the justices deciding a case. In Michigan, four of the seven justices constitute a majority. The majority opinion of a case has the force of law, while the dissent does not.
MEPA: the Michigan Environmental Protection Act. Enacted in 1970 to comply with the Michigan Constitution’s mandate that the legislature protect the air, water, and other natural resources of the state from pollution, impairment and destruction, this act was a model for subsequent environmental protection acts across the country. (Michigan Constitution Article IV, Sec. 52)
moot: no longer relevant, as in “the case is moot.” Used to denote a situation where the controversy upon which a lawsuit is based is no longer a controversy. Under the U.S. Constitution, a present “case or controversy” must exist for a court to hear a lawsuit. There is no such provision in the Michigan Constitution, and its application has varied among Michigan justices.
NREPA: Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. This is the comprehensive Michigan law that governs most environmental, outdoor recreation, natural resource and conservation issues in the state. MEPA is a part of NREPA.
reasonable: in legal writings, the term “reasonable” often refers to what a “reasonable person” might do, or what a “reasonable” course of action might be. It is often used to indicate an objective standard for reviewing a set of facts, i.e. the law is based on what a “reasonble person” might do in a given situation, not what the actual litigant, plaintiff, or defandant did.