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Oral Arguments on Willis Class Appeal


Antelope Valley Groundwater Case

Oral Arguments on Willis Class Appeal Heard on February 17, 2021

On February 17, 2021, the Court of Appeal Fifth District heard oral arguments regarding the Willis Class appeal of the 2015 Judgment and Physical Solution. The matter was heard before a panel comprised of Justice Pena, Justice Snauffer, and Justice Smith. The Willis Class highlighted the following issues, each as an independent ground for the Court of Appeal to remand the matter back to the trial court:

  • Violation of the Correlative Rights Doctrine
  • Inconsistencies between the 2011 Judgment and the 2015 Judgment
  • Courts Failure to Consider Alternative Physical Solutions
  • Violation of water law’s hierarchy of priorities
  • Violation of California’s Domestic Use Priority
  • Violation of the Reasonable and Beneficial Use Doctrine
  • Unreasonable Burdens Placed on the Willis Class Overlying Landowners

Respondents to the Willis Class appeal included Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency (“AVEK,” a supplier of imported water), Los Angeles County Waterworks District 40 (“District 40,” an appropriator of water), Granite Construction Company (a corporate landowner), Radcast Investments, Inc. (a corporate landowner), and Bolthouse (a corporate landowner).

The matter was submitted on March 9, 2021. The Court of Appeal has 90 days to issue its decision on the matter.

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