Category Archives: Litigation

Pacific Legal Foundation Files Brief Against Governor Brown on Behalf of Bakersfield Church in Path of California High-Speed Rail

On March 17, 2014, the Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation filed a brief in support of the First Free Will Baptist Church in Bakersfield against Governor Jerry Brown’s extraordinary petition to allow the State of California to borrow money to fund California High-Speed Rail construction by selling Proposition 1A bonds. Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) is fighting this petition, which would undo our court victories in 2013.

Here is a copy of the brief: March 14, 2014 Pacific Legal Foundation on Behalf of First Free Will Baptist Church Against Jerry Brown on California High-Speed Rail

A Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled in 2013 that the California High-Speed Rail Authority failed to comply with Proposition 1A as authorized by voters, and therefore the state could not sell Prop 1A bonds. Governor Brown, the California High-Speed Rail Authority, and other officials asked the California Supreme Court to override the lower court decision and allow the state to issue the bonds. The California Supreme Court appropriately bounced the petition back to the California Court of Appeals for the 3rd District.

The Pacific Legal Foundation describes itself as “the oldest and most successful public interest legal organization that fights for limited government, property rights, individual rights and a balanced approach to environmental protection.” For more information, see the Pacific Legal Foundation’s March 19, 2014 press release about the filing of the brief:

Pacific Legal Foundation Litigates Against Sale of California High-Speed Rail Bonds

The brief is also posted at the Pacific Legal Foundation web site, along with a podcast explaining the brief.

Now on the Web: A Centralized Primary-Source Compilation for Reports and Litigation on California High-Speed Rail Finances

If you’re looking for primary source documents about California High-Speed Rail finances, take a look at a relatively new and simple web site: California High-Speed Rail Finance Reports (Calif HSR Fin Reports). It’s the self-declared “Home For Reports And Litigation On Aspects Of The California High Speed Rail’s Finances.”

According to the authors, “As a team of financial experts, with many years of diverse experience, we have reviewed and analyzed the financial aspects of the planned California High Speed Rail project, and have documented the financial risks of this project in a series of reports. We are proud to present our reports here.

People of California Will Soon Know if California High-Speed Rail Will Truly Travel as Promised between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2 Hours 40 Minutes

Today (March 4, 2014), a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled that the Court would consider arguments from plaintiffs in the Court case Tos v. California High-Speed Rail Authority about the failure of California High-Speed Rail to comply with travel time requirements in Proposition 1A. Read the decision: Ruling on Submitted Matter: Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings – March 4, 2014.

Stuart Flashman, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the following:

We are very gratified by Judge Kenny’s ruling denying the High-Speed Rail Authority’s motion. The Authority was, in essence, trying to shut the case down.

Our position is simply that if the Authority want to use the bond funds, it has to build what it promised the voters. Our complaint says that the Authority’s project doesn’t meet requirements for the high-speed rail system that were set when California’s voters approved Proposition 1A.

Judge Kenny’s ruling means we get our day in court to prove our case. If we’re successful, it will mean the Authority can’t use the bond funds to build their non-compliant project.

Frank Oliveira, a leader of Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA), said that CCHSRA was “pleased that Judge Kenny supports the idea that the California High-Speed Rail Authority should be accountable to the public for the decisions it makes.”

Background

In November 2008, 52.7% of California voters approved Proposition 1A, the “Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century.” Prop 1A authorized the State of California to borrow $9.95 billion for high-speed rail by selling bonds.

Here are the specific travel time promises provided to voters in the California Secretary of State’s Official Voter Information Guide when they considered Proposition 1A:

Argument in Favor of Proposition 1A

“Proposition 1A will save time and money. Travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 2½ hours for about $50 a person.”

TEXT OF PROPOSED LAW – PROPOSITION 1A

[California Streets and Highways Code Section] 2704.09. The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant to this chapter shall be designed to achieve the following characteristics:

(b) Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that shall not exceed the following:
(1) San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40 minutes

Today’s Decision Does Not Bode Well for the California High-Speed Rail Authority

The coalition of individuals, local governments, business organizations, and taxpayer associations that won today’s decision have already won in court as a plaintiff in a Prop 1A compliance lawsuit against the  California High-Speed Rail Authority and as a defendant in a bond validation lawsuit filed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Read those decisions here:

November 25, 2013 California High Speed Rail Authority Bond Validation Lawsuit Ruling

High-Speed Rail Authority and High-Speed Passenger Train Finance Committee, for the State of California v. All Persons Interested in the Matter of the Validity of the Authorization and Issuance of General Obligation Bonds to be Issued Pursuant to the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century and Certain Proceeding and Matter Related Thereto.

August 16, 2013 Tos Fukuda Kings County v California High-Speed Rail Prop 1A Ruling

November 25, 2013 Tos Fukuda Kings County v California High-Speed Rail Prop 1A Remedy

John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, County of Kings v. California High Speed Rail Authority, et al.

Media Fact Sheet from Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) and Kings County Farm Bureau (KCFB) – February 20, 2014 Event

Today (February 20, 2014) a coalition of construction trade unions held a rally outside of the “Protect Agriculture and The Valley” fundraiser in Hanford organized by the Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) and Kings County Farm Bureau (KCFB). Here are excerpts from a CCHSRA and KCFB joint media fact sheet distributed at the event.

MEDIA FACT SHEET

• The court ruled in our favor.

“The funding plan failed to comply with the statute.” – Proposition 1A (Part 1 and the Validation Case) ruling by Judge Michael P. Kenny, Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento on August 16, 2013. The Court has ruled that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has been attempting to operate illegally. Read our court victories.

• The economy in Kings County is based on agriculture.

Farming has been the fabric of Kings County since the 1800’s. We want to preserve it for future generations of farmers. We help feed and clothe the world.

• There is more at stake than farmers worried about their livelihood.

California’s Cap-and-Trade funds, education funds and general fund are also negatively impacted by the California High-Speed Rail project.

California High-Speed Rail Authority struggles to pay its bills.

California High-Speed Rail Authority struggles to pay its bills.

• Existing jobs and livelihoods that are directly in the path of the California High-Speed Rail will be destroyed, while job creation promises are tarnished by diminishing funds.

Small businesses and large businesses cannot absorb not getting paid by the California High Speed Rail Authority. Job creation is to create a job that people are actually getting paid for….and not by an entity already behind in its bills.

• The Authority is also having a hard time meeting the travel time requirement of Proposition 1A.

They want to slice through every community in the Central Valley….every city and every downtown in between at 220 mph nonstop. No train should be doing this near people. They are also flying down the Tehachapi Mountains at a high speed with brakes that haven’t yet been invented. See the February 11, 2013 California High-Speed Rail Authority memo “Phase 1 Blended Travel Time.”

•We are looking forward to having our case heard at the appellate level.

• The Kings County Farm Bureau is a non-profit advocacy organization, which represents approximately 800 members of the agricultural community. The mission of KCFB is to provide education, promotion and representation of agriculture.

Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group based in Kings County whose members reside in the city of Hanford and surrounding rural areas, along with other Californians who are affected by the high-speed rail. The group has been in the forefront since June 2011 attempting to get the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and its board to be in full compliance with Proposition 1A which the state’s voters passed in November 2008.

 

Reminder: Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) and Kings County Farm Bureau (KCFB) Fundraiser – February 20, 2014 in Hanford

CCHSRA, KCFB Fundraiser to Protect Agriculture and The Valley Slated for February 20 in Hanford

Hanford, CA February 19, 2014 – Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) and the Kings County Farm Bureau (KCFB) will co-host a fundraising luncheon/reception to “Protect Agriculture and The Valley” on Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at the Civic Auditorium in Hanford, California.

Special guests include Congressman David Valadao, Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, Assemblywoman Diane Harkey and Assemblyman Jim Patterson. Members of the Proposition 1A Legal Team will also be there along with local leaders. Invited guests include Senator Andy Vidak.

Those who attend the fundraiser will have a chance to hear elected officials speak about key issues adversely affecting agriculture in the Central Valley which include California high-speed rail and water. Attendees will also have a chance to personally ask the legislators questions.

“This is an historical event where our legislators will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Central Valley citizens and agriculture to call on our state to be accountable,” said KCFB Executive Director Diane Friend.

A fundraising sponsor lunch with special guests will be followed by a lunch reception.

Sponsorship and ticket information inquiries should be made via email to CCHSRA Board Members Alan Scott (a_scott1318  [at]  comcast.net) and/or Helen Sullivan (sullypnh  [at]  wildblue.net).

Kings County Farm Bureau is a non-profit advocacy organization, which represents approximately 800 members of the agricultural community. The mission of KCFB is to provide education, promotion and representation of agriculture.

Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group based in Kings County whose members reside in the city of Hanford and surrounding rural areas, along with other Californians who are affected by the high-speed rail. The group has been in the forefront since June 2011 attempting to get the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and its board to be in full compliance with Proposition 1A which the state’s voters passed in November 2008.

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For more information, please visit us at http://www.cchsra.org/ and/or
contact Shelli Andranigian at andranigianmedia7  [at]  att.net. Thank you.

California Attorney General Files Brief with Appellate Court Defending Extraordinary Petition to Sell California High-Speed Rail Bonds

California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a brief this afternoon (Monday, February 10, 2014) on behalf of Governor Jerry Brown, California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, the Director of the Department of Finance, the Secretary of the State Transportation Agency, the High-Speed Rail Authority, and the High-Speed Passenger Train Finance Committee.

Their goal is to get the California Supreme Court to allow them to borrow money for California High-Speed Rail by selling bonds, thereby overruling two November 2013 decisions of a Sacramento County Superior Court judge determining that the California High-Speed Rail Authority failed to comply with state law (Proposition 1A) that establishes conditions to issue the bonds.

Here’s the brief: Petitioners’ Reply to Preliminary Opposition of Real Parties in Interest – Stay Requested by March 1, 2014.

The brief states that the case involves “weighty matters with far-reaching implications that demand this Court’s rigorous consideration…the stakes are high and the risks are great…” That’s probably the only statement in the brief that has unanimous agreement among the parties.

Expressing the highest levels of professionalism and respect for fellow California citizens, the brief also dares to call the winners of the two Sacramento County Superior Court cases “a collection of special interests.” That’s how they treat citizens who seek California High-Speed Rail accountability.


Read the decisions of Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny:

November 25, 2013 California High Speed Rail Authority Bond Validation Lawsuit Ruling

High-Speed Rail Authority and High-Speed Passenger Train Finance Committee, for the State of California v. All Persons Interested in the Matter of the Validity of the Authorization and Issuance of General Obligation Bonds to be Issued Pursuant to the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century and Certain Proceeding and Matter Related Thereto.

August 16, 2013 Tos Fukuda Kings County v California High-Speed Rail Prop 1A Ruling

November 25, 2013 Tos Fukuda Kings County v California High-Speed Rail Prop 1A Remedy

John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, County of Kings v. California High Speed Rail Authority, et al.

Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) and Kings County Farm Bureau (KCFB) Host Fundraiser to “Protect Agriculture and The Valley,” Slated for February 20th in Hanford

Hanford, CA February 6, 2014Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) and the Kings County Farm Bureau (KCFB) will co-host a fundraising luncheon/reception to “Protect Agriculture and The Valley” on Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at the Civic Auditorium in Hanford, California.

Special guests include Congressman David Valadao, Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, and Assemblywoman Diane Harkey along with invited guests Senator Andy Vidak and Assemblyman Jim Patterson with others TBA.

Those who attend the fundraiser will have a chance to hear elected officials speak about key issues adversely affecting agriculture in the Central Valley, which include California high-speed rail and water. Attendees will also have a chance to personally ask the legislators questions.

“This is an historical event where our legislators will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Central Valley citizens and agriculture to call on our state to be accountable,” said KCFB Executive Director Diane Friend.

A fundraising sponsor lunch with special guests will be followed by a lunch reception.

Sponsorship and ticket information inquiries should be made via email to CCHSRA Board Members Alan Scott (a_scott1318 [at] comcast.net) and/or Helen Sullivan (sullypnh [at] wildblue.net).

Kings County Farm Bureau is a non-profit advocacy organization, which represents approximately 800 members of the agricultural community. The mission of KCFB is to provide education, promotion and representation of agriculture.

Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group based in Kings County whose members reside in the city of Hanford and surrounding rural areas, along with other Californians who are affected by the high-speed rail. The group has been in the forefront since June 2011 attempting to get the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and its board to be in full compliance with Proposition 1A, which the state’s voters passed in November 2008.

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For more information, please visit us at http://www.cchsra.org/ and/or contact Shelli Andranigian at andranigianmedia7 [at] att.net. Thank you.

February 20, 2014 – Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) and Kings County Farm Bureau (KCFB) Fundraiser in Hanford to Protect Agriculture and the Valley

Filed with the Court: Opposition to Governor Brown’s Petition to Allow California High-Speed Rail to Borrow Money by Issuing Bonds

February 3, 2014 – The winning parties in Sacramento County Superior Court against the California High-Speed Rail Authority now fight back against an attempt by Governor Jerry Brown to help the Authority evade public accountability by seeking extraordinary relief from the California Supreme Court.

California High-Speed Rail - Cut Water Deliveries - Disasters - Courtesy of Governor Brown - April 4 2013 in Fresno

Parked outside a California High-Speed Rail Authority board meeting remote location – April 4, 2013 in Fresno.

Gov. Brown (along with State Treasurer Bill Lockyer and Attorney General Kamala Harris) wants the state to proceed with borrowing money for construction of the 29-mile Madera to Fresno high-speed rail segment by issuing Prop. 1A bonds, even though the California High-Speed Rail Authority has not complied with the law, as confirmed in 2013 by a judge.

February 3, 2014 – Preliminary Opposition of Real Parties in Interest John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, County of Kings, and County of Kern to Governor Brown Petition for Extraordinary Writ of Mandate – California High-Speed Rail Authority

Please contact these leaders with press inquiries:

Aaron Fukuda – afukuda77 [at] gmail.com – Cell: 559-707-8928

Frank Oliveira – frank.oliveira [at] me.com – Cell: 559-469-6685

Court decisions against California High-Speed Rail Authority:

John Tos v. California High Speed Rail Authority (Prop 1A compliance)

August 16, 2013 Tos Fukuda Kings County v California High-Speed Rail Prop 1A Ruling

November 25, 2013 Tos Fukuda Kings County v California High-Speed Rail Prop 1A Remedy

California High-Speed Rail Authority v. All Persons Interested (bond validation)

November 25, 2013 California High Speed Rail Authority Bond Validation Lawsuit Ruling

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