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City Wins Again in Ferry Litigation
Posted Date: 5/5/2017 4:00 PM
Judge Barry Goode of the Contra Costa County Superior Court found in favor of the City of Sausalito again on Thursday, May 4, when he overruled the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District's demurrer to the City's ferry landing lawsuit. A demurrer is an attempt to knock out a case early on, before filing an answer, by claiming that there isn't sufficient information or legal grounds in the complaint to grant judicial relief.

The City was forced to sue the District in September 2016 to prevent the District from moving forward with plans to build a new ferry landing without the City's consent. Rejecting the District's legal challenges to the City's complaint, the judge ruled that the City's allegations, if proven in the case, would establish that the District's actions violated California's Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California's Public Trust Doctrine, and the lease agreement between the City and the District governing the ferry terminal.

In reaching his conclusion overruling the District's demurrer, Judge Goode stated: "The City's complaint is generally based on the District's plan to replace the ferry terminal in Sausalito. The District repeatedly argues that it is not moving forward with the project, however, this argument is based on the District's definition of 'project.' The District's apparent definition of the 'project' is one that replaces the ferry terminal with the consent of the City. The District views its current plan to replace the ferry terminal without the consent of the City as a different project. The District defines 'project' too narrowly."

The Court also ordered the District to file its answer to the City's complaint by May 18, 2017. A case management conference is scheduled for August 28. For the case management conference, the City of Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District will meet with the judge to talk about how to handle the case, e.g. what discovery remains and is allowed, and how and when to try the case.
 
VIEW DOCUMENTS RELATED TO THE FERRY LANDING LAWSUIT

READ MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE FERRY LANDING PROJECT

READ A CURRENTS ARTICLE ABOUT AN EARLIER CHALLENGE TO THE LAWSUIT