Thursday, May 07, 2015

The high-speed rail litigation

Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability

Kathy Hamilton brings us up to date on the litigation against the high-speed rail boondoggle:


While the Superior court ruled the Rail Authority was deficient in its funding plan in the first part of the Tos/Fukuda/Kings County case, since it didn’t follow the requirements of Proposition 1A, an appellate court overturned the Superior Court’s decision and gave the Authority the gift of time to comply with Prop 1A.

In Tos Part 2, project opponents will attempt to show that the Authority is not executing specific requirements of the bond act. The case revolves around three key issues.

1. Travel time: can the high-speed rail meet the requirement of two hours and forty minutes from Los Angeles to the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco, especially with the implementation of the blended system?

2. Will the project create an operational subsidy forbidden by Prop 1A?

3. Is the blended plan, using existing railroad tracks, a legal way to build part of the system as outlined in Prop 1A?

Numerous times during the hearing Judge Kenny said he found the case very unusual; little precedence was available and he was struggling with the legal reasons of why he should admit a piece of evidence. He wanted to be educated on why the scope of the evidence should be broader.

Rather than denying the plaintiff’s materials without prejudice, the judge asked for the plaintiffs to provide more information defined in legal terms as to why he should accept them. This is an advantage for the plaintiffs since there are page restrictions when writing briefs, and this gives them the chance to properly explain why the evidence should be admitted and also gives them the time to respond, since the second hearing is July 17, 2015. The attorneys for both sides were instructed to meet and confer to attempt to come up with an acceptable solution to these outstanding issues before the hearing.

After the evidence questions are resolved after the July hearing the plaintiffs believe the hearing will begin examining the issues sometime in the fall.





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