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Court Issues Tentative Ruling in Litigation Costs

Post Date:02/16/2017
The Honorable Richard L. Fruin issued a tentative ruling today granting Golden State Water Company over $7.5 million in reimbursement of its claimed litigation expenses and costs related to the City’s eminent domain lawsuit to acquire the Claremont Water System.

Golden State Water filed a motion seeking to recover litigation expenses and costs in the amount of $7.69 million, following the Judge’s dismissal of the City’s eminent domain case. The City submitted an objection brief challenging specific litigation expenses and costs, asking for a reduction of approximately 50% of Golden State Water’s request. In the tentative decision, Judge Fruin upheld Golden State Water's request for litigation costs, except for $30,220 objected to by the City. The Judge also deducted $189,300 associated with the settlement between the parties of the Public Records Act and CEQA lawsuits and Measure W from the litigation expense award. However, the judge is reviewing an additional request made by Golden State Water for approximately $158,000 in additional fees related to preparing a response to the City’s opposition to the request for litigation expenses, which would be added to the $7.5 million.

The City anticipates filing a Notice of Appeal on the award of litigation expenses. On February 2, 2017, the City filed the Notice of Appeal on the dismissal of the City’s eminent domain lawsuit. Payment of the litigation expense award is stayed, pending the outcome of the City’s appeals.