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EPIC in Court (Again) to Defend Richardson Grove

EPIC was back in court on March 28th to defend Richardson Grove against Caltrans’ effort to dismiss our most recent state lawsuit, filed last summer in Humboldt County Superior Court. (For more on our older but currently ongoing state lawsuit, click here.) Once again, the courtroom was packed to the gills with supporters of the Grove. And, once again, our longtime attorney, Sharon Duggan, put on a great show for supporters.

Caltrans claimed that the court lacked jurisdiction because either EPIC had previously brought the same claims or could have previously brought the claims when we filed our earlier litigation. Sharon forcefully argued that neither was the case: the claims were based on new information presented by Caltrans and therefore could not have been brought before.

While Caltrans’ argument doesn’t pass the smell test, their motion is still dangerous. Should the judge agree with Caltrans, this would stop the new case. And given that Caltrans is trying to stop our old case at the same time, we could quickly get shut out of state court. (But don’t worry too much: we can always appeal either decision should we lose. Plus, we still have our federal lawsuit, for a total of three cases to protect the Grove.)

The judge said that she was going to take her time to review the briefings and other materials—a lot of reading, with all of the citations in our briefing to documents before the court—so EPIC doesn’t anticipate a decision imminently.

Stay tuned for more developments!


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