Court of Appeal issues disappointing Opinion

On November 30, 2021, the Court released its Opinion in Tos v. California High-Speed Rail Authority affirming the lower court ruling. This was a tremendous disappointment, given the ten years of litigation leading up to this moment. Here’s the background: On December 13, 2016, the California High-Speed Rail Authority, CHSRA, met and gave preliminary approval to submit funding plans seeking $3.2 billion in HSR bond funding for the San Francisco to San Jose Peninsula Corridor project (the Caltrain Electrification project) and Central Valley HSR project. The same day, four individuals, three non-profit organizations, the Town of Atherton and Kings County filed a lawsuit,…

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Tos II Heading to Court on Slow Boat

The current major lawsuit against CHSRA, Tos II, had a Case Management Conference on Friday. An October 26 court hearing was set for a motion by Plaintiffs seeking a declaratory judgment that AB 1889 is facially unconstitutional. A judgment to that effect would trigger a request by Plaintiffs for an injunction blocking any use of Proposition 1A HSR Bond funds for construction. CHSRA will seek judgment on a cross-motion that AB 1889 is constitutional, so that CHSRA can rely on it in seeking bond funds to continue construction of its HSR project.  This case has been delayed by CHSRA for 17 months. Two demurrers were…

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Tos II Case Progresses

Tos II Case Progresses 05/25/17 Filed in: High-Speed Rail A hearing was held on April 26 on CHSRA’s Demurrer. The Court’s tentative ruling denied the motion for preliminary injunction and sustained the demurrer. At the hearing, the Court adopted the ruling on the motion for preliminary injunction, and took the demurrer under submission. The final ruling adopted the tentative ruling sustaining the demurrer, effectively knocking the case out of court, but granted leave to amend the Petition. Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Petition on May 25, in response. After the announcement of the Federal Transit Administration grant to Caltrain for its Electrification Project in May, 2017, the Director of the Department of Finance issued a…

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Disappointment in ARB Case

Disappointment in ARB Case 05/15/17 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Climate Change After three years of hard work, TRANSDEF’s challenge to the California Air Resources Board’s adoption of its 2014 Scoping Plan was rejected today by the Court. Disappointingly, the decision was based purely on the technical, procedural objections brought by ARB. ARB never defended its decision to include a GHG-increasing measure in a plan intended to reduce GHGs. In oral argument, TRANSDEF’s attorney, Stuart Flashman, proposed a new way to look at CEQA GHG impacts–one that we have not heard being used before: Because of the global climate change…

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Briefing Continues in ARB case

TRANSDEF filed its Opening Brief in its challenge to ARB’s inclusion of HSR in its 2014 Scoping Plan. It’s been a long hard slog since we filed the case back in 2014, but things will move more quickly now. See this page for a copy of the brief, for ARB’s Opposition Brief, and for a description of the case’s complicated history over the past two years. Here’s the Brief’s Conclusion: TRANSDEF does not oppose, and indeed strongly supports, almost all of the Updated Scoping Plan; but TRANSDEF opposes inserting a measure into the Scoping Plan that does not and cannot meet the…

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Allies Challenge AB 1899’s Constitutionality

Allies Challenge AB 1899’s Constitutionality 01/31/17 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Five individuals, three non-profit organizations, the Town of Atherton and Kings County amended their lawsuit today, seeking a ruling that the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (CHSRA) efforts to obtain construction funding from a voter-approved bond measure violate the state constitution. The case is the second one filed as Tos v. California High-Speed Rail Authority, or Tos II. Legal papers are available here. The Third District Court of Appeal had previously ruled that Prop. 1A, the 2008 $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond measure, created a “financial straitjacket” restricting the use of the bond funds. Plaintiffs allege in their suit that the Legislature’s passage of…

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Caltrain Electrification Suit Fully Briefed

Caltrain Electrification Suit Fully Briefed 05/23/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Transportation Planning The challenge to Caltrain’s Electrification EIR is now fully briefed. (See bottom of page.) Petitioners assert that the electrification project is really the first phase of the HSR Blended System on the Peninsula, making the EIR an impermissibly chopped study of the project’s overall impacts. A hearing has been scheduled for 9 AM, September 2, 2016 in Contra Costa Superior Court. Tags: HSR Litigation, CEQA, Caltrain

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CEQA Preemption Appeal Fully Briefed

CEQA Preemption Appeal Fully Briefed 05/18/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The appeal of the CEQA Preemption Order by the federal Surface Transportation Board for California HSR is now fully briefed. Oral argument has not yet been scheduled. The briefs are all posted on the STB page. Tags: CEQA, Preemption, HSR Litigation, STB

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Press Coverage of HSR Hearing

Press Coverage of HSR Hearing 02/15/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The hearing on the Tos Part II challenge to CHSRA compliance with the requirements of Proposition 1A was held on February 11, 2016. For a listing of the press generated by the hearing, see the bottom of this page. Tags: HSR Litigation

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