Michelle Sanborn
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Community Organizer 

The judge has suggested residents could crowdfund to cover costs.

NOTTINGHAM, NH: As climate change brings suffering across the globe, in New Hampshire Judge Martin Honigberg has sided with a local corporate actor who seeks financial retribution against the Town of Nottingham for the popular adoption of an ordinance recognizing a right of townspeople to a “climate system capable of sustaining human societies.” On September 1, 2021 the sole corporate actor, Brent Tweed, of G&F Goods, LLC submitted a $40,281.50 bill to the court for attorney fees.

The Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance, passed by voters in 2019, also secured rights of ecosystems “to naturally exist, flourish, regenerate, evolve, and be restored” and banned corporate activities that infringe those rights.

G&F Goods, LLC filed a lawsuit against the unenforced Ordinance, arguing it unconstitutionally discriminates against polluting corporations. A June 4, 2021 court ruling allowed the corporation to bill the Town for attorney fees.

“Punishing Town voters and taxpayers for taking a stand to combat climate change on the local level is not what we need right now. The courts and the corporation should be ashamed of themselves,” says CELDF Community Organizer Michelle Sanborn.

Threats to freshwater systems and climate disruption prompted residents to popularly adopt the Ordinance at their 2019 town hall meeting.

Court documents are available upon request.

For further context, read the CELDF report: “Corporations Are Suing Cities Across the USA.”


About CELDF — Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is helping build a decolonial movement for Community Rights and the Rights of Nature to advance democratic, economic, social, and environmental rights – building upward from the grassroots to the state, federal, and international levels.

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