In a recent court appearance, appointed Judge James Garbolino presided over a number of details and date settings for the two cases filed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power against Mammoth Community Water District. The cases and their cost will drag on into next year.
According to Water District Manager Greg Norby, the status conference was held via telephone. Attorneys Stuart Somach and Kelley Tabor represented LADWP along with Janna Sidley of the LA City Attorney’s Office. Alan Lilley represented the Water District.
The two cases involve challenges by DWP against the Mammoth Creek water flow EIR and Mammoth’s Urban Water Management Plan. In both suits, LA maintains that Mammoth’s Water District holds no water rights to Mammoth Creek and so the two documents are flawed. LA alleges that the City owns the water rights.
The orders issued by the Judge include the Water District certifying and filing administrative records in both cases on or before July 16. DWP will pay for the cost of preparing the records.
LADWP must file its opening briefs for each case on or before September 14. Mammoth Community Water District must file its response on or before November 16. LADWP reply briefs are due on December 21. The actual hearing on the merits of each case is scheduled for January 29, 2013 in the Mammoth Lakes Courthouse. Judge Garbolino will issue his decision in following weeks.
Meanwhile, the Water District continues to press legislators and LA officials for a more reasonable approach to LADWP’s attempt to take Mammoth’s water.