Legal Struggle Heating Up – Federal and State Courts

Greetings … the legal wheels are turning so stand by for action!  On December 6 the Plaintiffs (the good guys – EPIC, CBD, CATS, et. al.) filed their motion for Summary Judgment in the Federal Court action.

This motion asks the Judge to decide that there are no triable issues of fact for a jury to decide in the complaint and that judgment should be awarded to the plaintiffs.  In other words, no trial is necessary and the plaintiff wins.

However, CALTRANS will have something to say to the contrary, and their reply will be filed on December 28.  Then the Plaintiffs get a chance to reply to that and the Plaintiffs’ Response will be filed by January 18.  Finally, CALTRANS gets one last shot and their Reply will be filed by February 1.  Then there will be a hearing where the attorneys have one more chance to argue their case in front of the Judge.

The hearing is scheduled for February 23, 2012 at 8:00 AM in Judge Alsup’s courtroom on the 19th Floor of the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco.  All are encouraged to attend if possible.  We’ll update you as the time draws nearer.

And that’s not all!  A companion lawsuit was filed in State Court at the same time that the Federal Court lawsuit was filed but it has been relatively dormant until now.  The Plaintiffs will file their opening brief this Friday, December 9 in the Humboldt County Superior Court in Eureka.  A hearing is scheduled there for March 14 at 9:00 AM in Courtroom 8 in Eureka and more updates will issue as we draw closer.

To keep up on the action feel free to access EPIC’s website at www.wildcalifornia.org.  The “Action and Issues” tab has a pull down menu and Richardson Grove is the first topic.  Click there and it will take you to the most current information on our struggle and you will be able to access the actual legal documents from there.

In the meantime, this is just a reminder that we have an exciting opportunity here in the newly formed Congressional District #2 which stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge up to the Oregon boarder.  This new Congressional seat is open since Mike Thompson is moving to a District to the east and will no longer represent us.  There are multiple candidates running for the new seat and now is the time to get them talking about Richardson Grove and other issues of local concern.

Try to attend as many local town hall meetings as you possibly can when these candidates come to your area.  For example, there will be a debate of the candidates at the Mateel Community Center in Redway on January 15 – a great opportunity!

Now is also a great time to submit letters to the editor and opinion pieces and/or write to your Legislators – the State Legislature is in recess so your Assembly and State Senate representatives are in their home districts so it’s a good time to share your concerns.

That’s it for now, but stay tuned.  Meanwhile, all the best for a peaceful holiday season and a Happy New Year!  Should you wish to be removed from this listserv simply email me.  Regards, Barbara Kennedy

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