Tuesday, January 02, 2007

North Kern Water Storage Dist. v. Kern Delta Water Dist. (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 2, 2007)

No such joy in Mudville. The Ninth Circuit's closed for Jerry Ford, and the California Court of Appeal eventually provided me with only three tidbits, two of which were merely amendments to prior opinions.

The only substantive published opinion of the day was this one. Which was mind-numbing even for someone used to slogging through a lot of stuff. I'll reprint the first paragraph of the opinion to give you a taste:

"North Kern Water Storage District (North Kern) appeals and Kern Delta Water District (Delta) cross-appeals from a judgment entered on retrial, after we reversed a prior judgment. The present judgment declared a forfeiture of certain previously appropriated waters of the Kern River. Plaintiff and appellant North Kern contends that the trial court erred in selecting the timeframes against which to measure nonuse of the water, that the court should have measured differently the nonuse of water by junior water rights holders, that the court erroneously precluded North Kern from asserting that senior rights holders’ use of water was unreasonable, and that the court should have awarded the forfeited water to North Kern instead of declaring it available for appropriation through the statutory permit procedure. Defendant and appellant Delta contends the court erred in precluding its defense of estoppel and in measuring the forfeiture against Delta’s full appropriation even when the river had insufficient water to provide the full appropriation. Respondent City of Bakersfield, holder of rights junior to some of Delta’s rights and senior to North Kern’s rights, generally supports the judgment entered on retrial."

Exciting, huh?! Water right forfeitures!! Junior versus senior users!! Cross-appeals!! You can imagine my joy as I read the subsequent thirty-six pages.

I'm positive that there are people who know and like this stuff, and it may well be a significant case as far as water rights -- an important topic -- are concerned. But it's still not an exciting way to begin the New Year.

Don't let me down tomorrow, all. Push hard tonight to get the interesting stuff out, okay? I want a whiz-bang January 3rd.