SAN DIEGO — A California appeals court on Feb. 23 affirmed a verdict that the successor to a developer breached an agreement to provide free, trucked-in water for life to a property owner but said the trial court erred in giving the plaintiff $3 million for future damages since the contract was terminated after a verdict was rendered.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court will consider a petition challenging Native American control over water rights at the court’s March 18 conference, according to a March 2 docket entry.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Texas, New Mexico and Colorado on March 1 told a U.S. Supreme Court special master that they are continuing to discuss a settlement of their interstate water dispute over distribution of waters of the Rio Grande basin and asked him to set a trial date for mid- to late fall.
LOS ANGELES — The Second District California Court of Appeal on Feb. 23 reversed a trial court writ of mandamus, finding that an environmental impact report (EIR) prepared for a water storage project is adequate under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals court on Feb. 23 said a court-appointed watermaster does not have the right to appeal a trial court’s order interpreting a water decree because the watermaster disagrees with the court’s interpretation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Feb. 10 told the U.S. Supreme Court that it should deny review of a challenge involving Native American control over water rights, saying federal law and court precedents recognize that tribes have sovereign power to control their own lands and waters.
AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas company that claims that it has groundwater leases on Feb. 15 sued a local groundwater district alleging that the district wrongly declared that a water permit was invalid and reduced the company’s permit from 28,500 acre-feet of water to zero acre-feet.
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 denied two petitions for rehearing en banc for the court’s reversal and remand after finding that a 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decree establishing water rights to the Colorado River does not strip a federal court of jurisdiction to decide the Navajo Nation’s breach of trust claim against the Department of the Interior (DOI) for allegedly mismanaging the tribe’s water resources.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California law firm on Jan. 3 told a state appeals court it should affirm dismissal of an appeal by a citizen’s group in an underlying water rights case because the appellants failed to show that the law firm acted with malice in suing the appellants and the city of Weed, Calif., on behalf of a lumber company.
New developments in the following multiplaintiff, interstate or notable water rights cases are marked in boldface type.
HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on Jan. 25 affirmed a Montana Water Court ruling that a water right was forfeited because of nonuse and that appled a later rather than an earlier priority date to a claim.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A U.S. Supreme Court special master on Jan. 24 stayed a trial of Texas’ water claims against New Mexico and Colorado after the parties indicated that they are in settlement discussions.
EL DORADO, Calif. — A California appeals court on Jan. 28 said an environmental impact report (EIR) about the replacement of an open water ditch with a buried pipeline “adequately appraised” a public interest group and the public about the nature of the watershed and the abandonment of the open ditch.
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on Jan. 28 agreed to review whether the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has jurisdiction to determine who owns disputed water rights.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — A draft proposal to commission certain Nevada district court judges as water judges was presented at a Jan. 21 meeting of the Nevada Commission to Study the Adjudication of Water Law Cases.
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Jan. 24 said two water defendants did not deny a farmer due process or equal protection by refusing to grant the farmer licenses allowing a proposed water reclamation project to cross two drains and a canal.
FRESNO, Calif. — A California state appeals court on Jan. 12 said defendants’ appeal of a trial court judgment granting a right of way for a water pipeline was filed too late irrespective of one defendant’s bankruptcy stay.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Supreme Court on Jan. 25 denied review of the denial of mandates and attorney fees in challenges to the “Monterey” changes in long-term water supply contracts involving California’s Central Water Project and State Water Project.
BOISE, Idaho — Ten Idaho entities have agreed to a term sheet governing the development of a plan that would regulate groundwater use in the Big Wood River Basin for the next three years through restrictions, water purchases, fallowing farmland and contributions to a new fund, the Idaho Water Resource Board announced Jan. 24.
The journalists and staff of Mealey’s Litigation Reports are saddened by the passing of co-founder Michael P. Mealey. He was a respected member of the newsletter community, being named publisher of the year by the National Newsletter Association and president of the National Newsletter Association. Mike and Judy Mealey started Mealey Publications Inc. in 1984. As president, Mike grew the Mealey’s Litigation Report portfolio, introduced email news bulletins and electronic CD formats and launched a continuing legal education conference business. Mealey’s was sold to LexisNexis in 2000. We hope to carry on his journalistic curiosity and integrity in the titles we continue to publish today under his name.