The Maryland Court of Appeals yesterday refused to rule on an appeal of a Montgomery County Circuit Court case in which citizens sought to block the opening of the controversial Laytonsville landfill.
The case was originally part of a complicated lawsuit filed by five citizens and Del. Robin Ficker (R-Montgomery) in January 1981 that alleged that the landfill would be illegal for several reasons, including that it would be a nuisance and a health hazard.
Part of that suit attempted to enforce the so-called Ficker amendment, passed by a county referendum in November 1978, which said landfills could not be operated in residential areas. The county filed a counter claim and Circuit Judge Philip Fairbanks, in a separate ruling, said that the amendment was invalid.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals, which ruled yesterday 6 to 1 that it could not act until the rest of the case, which is still pending in circuit court, had been adjudicated.
"Since the trial court did not dispose of an entire claim in this case, the appeal must be dismissed," said the court's majority opinion. But the high court left open the possibility of eventually making a ruling in the case, once the remainder of the lawsuit was complete.