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Siskiyou County responds to ELF, water resources board briefs
Yreka, Calif. — Working against the transfer of a large water suit in the Scott Valley, Siskiyou County Counsel Thomas Guarino submitted a brief Friday arguing that the case should come to Siskiyou County.
The case is Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Board, in which the Environmental Law Foundation and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations Institute for Fisheries Resources have asked the courts to declare that groundwater in the Scott River basin can be managed under the Public Trust Doctrine.
Siskiyou County has requested that the case be transferred here from the Superior Court of Sacramento County, a motion which both the petitioners and the State Water Resources Control Board have opposed.
The county’s original argument, reiterated in the recent brief, is that managing groundwater in the Scott River basin would impact adjudicated groundwater rights interconnected with the river and that the case therefore falls under the jurisdiction of the adjudicating court – in this case, the Siskiyou County court.
The water resources board, in its transfer opposition brief, argued that it had concurrent jurisdiction and because its attorney, the attorney general of California, is located in Sacramento, that is the appropriate court to hear the case.
“Further, the fact that the petition seeks relief only against the County and not the Board ... removes any conceivable basis for the case to remain in Sacramento County simply because the Board’s legal representative, the Attorney General, has an office there,” Guarino rebuts in his brief.
Going further, Guarino also questions the water resources board’s alignment with the petitioning parties on a number of issues in the case, stating that he believes the “Board’s alignment with the petitioners on both the procedural and substantive issues of the case suggests that the Board should be properly aligned on the same side as the petitioners rather than on the opposite side, which further removes any basis for venue to remain in this court.”
Asking again that the transfer motion be granted, Guarino’s brief has a scheduled next hearing date of Jan. 21.
– David Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Page Updated: Friday January 14, 2011 03:08 AM Pacific
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