Taxpayer Lawsuit Alleges State Cannot Legally Spend
Proposition 1A Bond Proceeds on Central Valley Project
Update: A trial was held February 11, 2016 in the second part of this case. Please go to Part II for information on that part of the case.
On November 14, 2011, Attorney Michael Brady filed a lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, and Kings County, asking the Court to interpret Proposition 1A, and find that the proposed Central Valley project of the California High-Speed Rail Authority was ineligible to receive bond funds.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority requested the Court to dismiss the taxpayer lawsuit, by filing its CAHSRA Notice of Hearing and Demurrer. See the arguments laid out in the CAHSRA Points and Authorities in Support of Demurrer.
Plaintiffs responded by filing its Plaintiff’s Opposition to Demurrer Points and Authorities, supported by Plaintiff’s Opposition to Demurrer Request for Judicial Notice and Plaintiff’s Declaration in Support of Request for Judicial Notice.
A hearing was held on June 22nd in Sacramento Superior Court, where Judge Robert Hight affirmed his tentative ruling, which sustained the demurrer, with leave to amend.
Oral argument on Part I only took place on May 31, 2013 in Sacramento Superior Court, Department 31.
The Court’s Ruling on Part I
The Court issued its Ruling on Submitted Matter on August 16, 2013. The ruling determined that the California High-Speed Rail Authority had failed to comply with the requirements of Proposition 1A, the HSR bond measure. Parties will file further briefs to assist the Court in deciding the appropriate remedy.
Plaintiffs filed their Opening Brief on Remedies on September 16, 2013. It was accompanied by a Request for Judicial Notice and a Proposed Order that suggests the Court order the cancellation of over $1 billion in construction contracts and a prohibition on accessing the $6 billion in state bond and federal grant funds until the Authority complies with the bond measure’s requirements.
A fascinating legal battle ensued, as the Authority asked the Court to strike the parts of the Reply Brief that rebutted its Opposition. Plaintiffs filed a vigorous Objection, which was followed by an Objection by the Authority.
A writ was issued January 3, 2014, with a 60-day return date for the recission of the funding plan.