Today we were back before Judge Rocky Baio to schedule a trial for the City of Oxnard's lawsuit against Measure M, which 72% of Oxnard voters adopted in November to repeal an excessive 87% wastewater rate increase.
The judge has tentatively scheduled the trial for late June, 2017.
The city's attorney had requested a trial date in March, 2017. Recall that the city has started a new rate setting process which is scheduled to have new rates adopted by June 1, 2017 to go into effect on July 1, 2017. Had the judge granted a March trial date, and if the city prevailed in that lawsuit, the city would have been able to just cancel the process for setting new rates and keep the 87% increases approved last January.
We requested a later trial date to allow sufficient time to engage in the process of discovery to gather the information needed to defend against the lawsuit.
The trial will now be no earlier than June, though there are factors which could potentially move the date later, such as a failure by the city to cooperate with our discovery demands. With this scheduling decision, the city's the new rate setting process should be complete before the trial begins on the repeal of the previous rates.