UPDATE - APRIL 16, 2020:
- The Court rescheduled the Case Management Conferences previously set for May 8 and June 1 to June 24 at 2:30 p.m., Los Angeles County Superior Court, Complex Civil Litigation Division, Department No. 010, 312 North Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012.
- Additionally, due to COVID-19 related Court closures, all appearances should be telephonic absent an articulable special need to appear in person. For information on making a telephonic appearance, please visit https://courtcall.com/?c=CCHOME, or call (888) 882-6878.
- The Court granted the City of San Buenaventura’s (“City”) request to extend the time to respond to City’s Third Amended Cross-Complaint. The new deadline to file and serve a response is SEPTEMBER 08, 2020.
- The Court’s orders and the City’s Notice of Ruling are available at the following links: Order re Filing of Proofs, Order re Deadline to Respond, Notice of Ruling.
PLEASE READ THE NOTICE CAREFULLY. ANY RIGHTS YOU CLAIM TO PUMP OR STORE GROUNDWATER FROM THE BASINS IDENTIFIED IN THE NOTICE MAY BE AFFECTED BY A LAWSUIT INITIATED BY THE THIRD AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT SUMMARIZED BELOW.
What is this lawsuit about?
The Third Amended Cross-Complaint initiating this action for a comprehensive adjudication of the Ventura River Watershed including the Ventura River Watershed Groundwater Basins alleges nine claims for relief: (1) preliminary and permanent injunction reducing Cross-Defendants’ use of surface and/or subsurface water and groundwater affecting the surface and/or subsurface flow of the Ventura River to a level of reasonable and beneficial use under California Constitution Article X, Section 2; (2) preliminary and permanent injunction reducing Cross-Defendants’ use of surface and/or subsurface water and groundwater affecting the surface and/or subsurface flow of the Ventura River to a level of reasonable and beneficial use and a level that protects public trust resources under the public trust doctrine; (3) declaratory relief for pueblo and/or treaty water rights; (4) declaratory relief for prescriptive water rights; (5) declaratory relief for appropriative water rights; (6) comprehensive adjudication and physical solution; (7) declaratory relief for municipal priority; (8) declaratory relief for the human right to water; and (9) declaratory relief regarding the Cross-Complainant’s use of surface and/or subsurface water and groundwater affecting the Ventura River Watershed and declaratory relief that Cross-Defendants’ water uses are not reasonable or beneficial and violate the public trust doctrine. This Third Amended Cross-Complaint includes claims regarding the groundwater uses in the Ventura River Watershed Groundwater Basins. The Third Amended Cross-Complaint also includes claims regarding surface water uses from the Ventura River and its tributaries, which may be governed by future court orders.
How may I participate?
If you claim rights to pump or store groundwater within the basins identified below, either now or in the future, you may become a party to this lawsuit by filing an answer to the lawsuit on or before the deadline specified in the notice. You may file an answer by completing the form answer, filing it with the court indicated in the notice, and sending a copy of the form answer to the Cross-Complainant’s attorney. You may locate the attorney's contact information here.
Failing to participate in this lawsuit could have a significant adverse effect on any right to pump or store groundwater that you may have. You may seek the advice of an attorney in relation to this lawsuit. Such attorney should be consulted promptly. A case management conference (“CMC”) in this groundwater basin adjudication proceeding is currently scheduled to occur on the date specified on the cover page of the notice. If you intend to participate in the groundwater adjudication proceeding to which the notice applies, you are advised to attend the next case management conference in person or have an attorney represent you at the next case management conference.
Participation requires the production of all information regarding your groundwater use. You must provide this information within six months of appearing in the comprehensive adjudication, unless otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered by the Court pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 842.
Names of Basins
- Upper Ventura River Groundwater Basin (Department of Water Resources’ (“DWR”) Bulletin 118 Groundwater Basin Number 4-3.01);
- Ojai Valley Groundwater Basin (DWR’s Bulletin 118 Groundwater Basin Number 4-2);
- Lower Ventura River Groundwater Basin (DWR’s Bulletin 118 Groundwater Basin Number 4-3.02); and
- Upper Ojai Valley Groundwater Basin (DWR’s Bulletin 118 Groundwater Basin Number 4-1)
(collectively “Ventura River Watershed Groundwater Basins”).