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Appeals court throws out Howard Jarvis appeal against North San Joaquin Water Conservation District

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Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 6:15 am | Updated: 6:17 am, Wed Oct 13, 2010.

The California 3rd Appellate District on Tuesday formally dismissed the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s appeal of a trial court’s ruling in its case against the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District. 

The taxpayer group had appealed a decision by San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Humphreys in which it was determined the North San Joaquin district acted properly in assessing its groundwater charge.

The case centered around whether voter approval was required before the district approved its groundwater charge in 2007.

“We have no legal right to file an appeal; the case is essentially completed at this point,” said Tim Bittle, director of legal affairs for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association.

The dismissed appeal means the district complied with the law and still has the right to collect the groundwater charges that were assessed, said Jennifer Spaletta, partner at Herum Crabtree, the law firm that represented the district.

Spaletta said she did not know how or if the district would plan to pursue the money it can collect.

The district’s next regular board meeting takes place in December, and district manager Ed Steffani said any action would have to come from a special session.

“It’s up to board to decide what the district does from here,” he said.

Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at jordang@lodinews.com.

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