The Legal Front


HJTA v. CA Dept. of Forestry — HJTA is the plaintiff in this class action seeking to invalidate the State’s new fire prevention fee on grounds that it is really a tax that needed (but did not receive) two-thirds legislative approval, and seeking refunds for all who filed a Petition for Reconsideration or Claim for Refund. Status: Amended Complaint filed and served; awaiting State’s Answer or Demurrer.

High-Speed Rail Auth. v. All Persons — HJTA is a defendant in this validation action brought by the State to validate the issuance of $9 billion in bonds to build the first section of high-speed rail track. We believe that HSRA’s current Business Plan has so deviated from the promises made to
voters in Proposition 1A, that bonds for this project have not received voter approval. Status: State has filed a Motion to Consolidate this case with a pending writ action.

Mission Springs Water Dist. v. Verjil — HJTA represents initiative proponents who were sued by their water district. When the proponents’ initiative was certified for the ballot by the Registrar, rather than call an election as required by statute, the district filed a bogus suit for declaratory relief, effectively keeping a valid initiative off the ballot. We filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court denied. We appealed. Status: Fully briefed; awaiting appellate oral argument date.

HJTA v. CSU Monterey Bay, and HJTA v. Monterey Peninsula College — HJTA is the plaintiff in these two cases challenging mass emails sent from university department heads to students and alumni urging them to vote for the Governor’s tax increase, Proposition 30. We seek a declaration that the use of public resources for this message was illegal, an injunction against such acts in the future, and nominal monetary damages. Status: Defendants’ demurrers were heard and overruled on March 15. Settlement meeting scheduled April 22.

Schmeer v. County of Los Angeles — HJTA is an amicus in this case challenging L.A. County’s bag fee as really being a local tax that needed voter approval under Proposition 26. Status: Lost in the trial court and court of appeal; Petition for Review pending before the CA Supreme Court.