Klein & Wilson

Judge rules CA high-speed rail lawsuits will proceed

Later this summer, the first part of the California high-speed rail construction is to begin. While the California High-Speed Rail Authority was hoping to have all the lawsuits opposing the project put into one huge case, it appears they won't be getting their way.

Two Kings County residents have sued the Authority in hopes of stopping construction. There are many claims in their lawsuit, including that the project won't be finished by 2020 and that the Authority doesn't have the money to match the funds as required by Proposition 1A. That proposition was approved by the voters and there are many parts to it. The bill passed by the legislature in California is to ensure spending for the project goes as it should.

The two Kings County residents suing the Authority will see the high-speed rail go right through their property if it goes in along the planned route. Both would be paid under eminent domain, but neither believe it is enough.

The Authority has tried to combine all of the lawsuits with a very unusual legal maneuver. Anyone who was opposed to the rail was to be included in a lawsuit - "High-Speed Rail Authority v. All Persons Interested." The Authority didn't quite plan on the high numbers of people on the other side of the lawsuit. It will take a great deal of time for the suit to make its way through the court system. A similar lawsuit took more than a year in San Jose.

The Kings County residents did not want to be included in that lawsuit and last week, they were granted that wish. Their lawsuit will remain separate, with the hearings in the suit beginning the last day of May.

When you are involved in business litigation, you need an experienced California attorney to ensure your rights are protected. The business law arena is so complex, it can be difficult to know how to proceed and this is where an attorney's advice can prove invaluable.

Source:  kalw.org, "California High-Speed Rail Challenge Will Move Forward" Isabel Angell, May. 24, 2013

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