Off Beat: YCWA wins big one
The verdict is in for the latest battle involving the Yuba River. And the winner is ... the Yuba County Water Agency.
A Sacramento County judge last month came back with a decision supporting the Water Agency and rejecting assertions by Western Water Co.
About 20 years or so ago, the Water Agency and Western Water were going to partner up and sell water from the Yuba Goldlfields.
Nothing came of that, for a variety of reasons, and the matter was all but forgotten until a few years ago when Western Water decided it should have gotten a cut from the water that was being sold out of the Yuba River.
But what kind of water was it? Was it surface river water that flowed through the Goldfields, or was it groundwater bubbling up from the Goldfields?
"The critical issue from a contractual standpoint is whether such subsurface flow from the Yuba River is properly classified as 'Goldfields surface water' or 'Goldfields Groundwater' under the 1991 Agreement," wrote Judge Raymond Cadei. 'If such water falls within the contractual definition of 'Goldfields Surface Water,'" (Western Water) cannot establish a breach of contract."
After taking testimony earlier this year and overseeing the resolution of a number of legal disputes involving the lawyers, Cadei returned a verdict in favor of the Water Agency.
That's notable because Western Water was seeking millions and millions of dollars in damages from YCWA.
As Cadei wrote in dismissing Western Water's claims, the company's "focus always was on the development of water from deeper geological levels that would be extracted through well sand pumps, and (Western Water's) intent was to limit the payment provisions (other than the conveyance fee) to such water. There is thus no basis for an order of rescission or restitution."
More from courthouse
That May 2010 fatal shooting by Yuba City police has sparked its second federal lawsuit.
This one was filed by Lonnie Craig Patterson. His fiancee, Victoria Helen Roger-Vasselin, was shot dead police when she allegedly brandished a shotgun.
Patterson last month sued the city, saying his civil rights and Fourth Amendment rights were violated.
The lawsuit says the police mishandled the situation on Mariner Loop by failing to, after being told one of the home's occupants was armed, "contact the residents by telephone" and by not setting up a command post to talk Patterson and Roger-Vasselin out of the house.
Roger-Vasselin's sons are also suing the city. That case in federal court is set for trial in August 2013.