About four weeks ago we mentioned that we filed a motion for the Ventura County Superior Court to hold a hearing on September 17 to:
- Declare that the City of Oxnard failed to comply with the court order,
- Order compliance with the Writ and direct Oxnard to refund to ratepayers the amounts that it has unlawfully collected since June 16, 2021, and lastly,
- Set an Order to Show Cause, a court hearing where the City will be compelled to argue why the judge shouldn’t hold them in contempt of court.
Our filing of the motion spurred the City to respond the next day, taking actions to ensure there would be at least partial progress before the judge heard our motion.
Here’s what happened in court.
Judge Guasco complimented us for being vigilant in this case and said that it was appropriate and reasonable for us to bring the City’s lack of compliance to the Court’s attention.
The City of Oxnard profusely apologized to the judge for not obeying the Court’s orders and promised to fully comply without the need for a new order, so the judge decided to be lenient and granted the City an extension until November 1 to report back that it had complied with the Court’s orders.
However, the judge also made it crystal clear that this was the only time that he will extend the deadline after the fact and that the City was not to ignore any future deadline.
We believe Oxnard City Hall got the message this time.
As a result, we expect that a credit will appear on utility bills next month and that Oxnard’s utility rates for water, wastewater and solid waste will be reduced on a go-forward basis by the amount of the illegal Infrastructure Use Fee.