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.
The Authority then filed its Reply and Objections to 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.
Second Amended Complaint
Two weeks later, Attorney Michael Brady filed a Second Amended Complaint. He later released his Attorney Explanation Letter, which explains the case.
Opening Briefs from Plaintiffs
Trial Brief Part I
Trial Brief Part II
Declarations of Experts (Includes the Kopp Declaration)
Index of Evidence
Opposition Briefs from Authority
Memo in Opposition
Objection to Part II Trial Brief
RJN and Exhibits 1-5
RJN Exhibits 6-8
Objection to Part I RJN
Reply Briefs from Plaintiffs
Reply Brief Part I
Reply Brief Part II
Response to Objections Part II
Kathy Hamilton Declaration
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.
Kings County Water District filed an amicus brief, which was followed by a reply brief because no Opposition had been filed by the Authority.
The Authority responded to the Plaintiff’s opening brief with their Opposition Brief and a Declaration.
Plaintiffs then filed their Reply Brief, along with the Wespi Declaration, the Warren Declaration, the Flashman Declaration and a Request for Judicial Notice.
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.
The Court’s Ruling on Remedies
A hearing was held in Sacramento on November 8, and a ruling issued on November 25, 2013. The delighted Plaintiffs issued a press release.
A writ was issued January 3, 2014, with a 60-day return date for the recission of the funding plan.
This ruling was appealed by an Extraordinary Writ petition to the Supreme Court, and ultimately overturned. This set the stage for Part II of the Tos litigation.