L.A. Superior Court Reaffirms Previous Decision About Repayment of Water Rates
Denies cities of Downey, Signal Hill and Cerritos' request to be paid "damages"
Last week the Los Angeles Superior Court denied a motion filed by the cities of Downey, Signal Hill and Cerritos demanding to be repaid for water purchased during four previous years. The court's decision reaffirms an earlier ruling that bars award of any potential damages until a trial and final judgment is reached. Currently, no trial has been set.
In a written decision, Judge James Chalfant stated ". . . the writ cannot issue until final judgment. The Court said that on April 25, 2011 and nothing about that conclusion has changed." Judge Chalfant explained, "As demonstrated by WRD, there are legal and factual issues which must be addressed with respect to this claim . . . . The cities’ motion is denied."
Despite the previous ruling, the cities continued their legal fight and have continued to pump water from the basin in which they have refused to pay their water bills for 14 consecutive months.
"The cities have falsely claimed for several months that the pending legal case was final and all that remained was the award for damages," stated WRD Board President, Albert Robles. "The Court's decision makes it clear that the case is not over and far from it as a trial date has not even been set yet."