Claremont to Appeal Decision in Water System Take-Over Case

On January 31st, the Claremont City Council held a Special City Council Meeting to consider whether to appeal the Superior Court decision in the city’s attempt to take Golden State Water Company’s Claremont Water System by eminent domain. The city council action followed the December 9, 2016 ruling by the Honorable Richard L. Fruin, Jr. holding that Golden State had successfully rebutted the presumptions in favor of condemnation under California’s eminent domain law. (For more on Judge Fruin’s ruling, see “Superior Court Dismisses City of Claremont Complaint to Condemn Golden State Water Company System,” JOW Spring 2017).

At the meeting the City Council decided to move forward with the appeal process. They authorized the city manager to enter into an agreement with appellate attorneys for up to $400,000 and authorized the current attorneys to work with the appellate attorneys for an estimated cost of $50,000. The city filed a Notice of Appeal on February 2, 2017. The next step is for the attorneys to review the trial court record and provide guidance on how to proceed. The city expects the appeal process to take 18 to 24 months.

The city had also filed an objection to Golden State’s claim to recover $7.69 million in legal fees. On February 15, 2017, Judge Fruin largely upheld Golden State’s claim and ruled that the city must pay $7.4 million.


Written by Marta L. Weismann