Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for June 16, 2024

 

 

 

 

courthouse

In a Mammoth court room Thursday, Mono County Judge Mark Magit confirmed that Judge Roger Randall will not hear the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power case against Mammoth Community Water District.

This hearing was held via teleconference in a Mammoth courtroom.  Attorney Alan Lilly, representing the water district, handled this case conference.  Lilly said that Judge Magit confirmed that the motion to disqualify Judge Randall was “timely and will be granted.”

Judge Randall was initially assigned to hear the LADWP’s legal attacks on Mammoth’s water rights in Mammoth Creek.  Actually, the suits attack Mammoth’s water through the backdoor of a challenge to the fishery flow EIR for Mammoth Creek and a challenge to Mammoth’s Urban Water Management Plan.  DWP says Mammoth could not prepare either of those documents since the district has no rights to Mammoth Creek water.

LA attorneys filed a change of venue motion to move this case to Fresno but then agreed to accept an assigned judge instead.  The Judicial Council assigned Judge Randall, who is the same judge who presided over the original Hot Creek lawsuit which ended in the $30 million judgment against the Town of Mammoth.  He also sat on and issued the recent writ that orders the Town to pay MLLA the $43 million debt by June 30th.

When asked if Judge Randall’s prior involvement in those two Mammoth cases caused the challenge, Attorney Lilly said that he could not comment for reasons of attorney-client privilege.

Another status conference was set for June 14th at 9:30am in Mammoth court to learn the identity of another assigned judge.