On May 7th, Superior Court Judge Donald Alvarez ruled in the eminent domain case of Town of Apple Valley vs. Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company (now Liberty) in an exhaustive 84-page tentative decision that supports free enterprise and private ownership over ever-increasing government.
The court finds that Liberty, through evidence introduced during the court’s bench trial, has rebutted the presumptions established by Eminent Domain Law for the taking of its property for use as a municipal water utility. In particular, Liberty has disproved that 1) the public interest and necessity require the Town’s Project (Code of Civil Procedure section 1240.030(a)); 2) the Town’s Project is planned in the manner that will be most compatible with the greatest public good and the least private inquiry (Code of Civil Procedure section 1240.030(G)); and 3) the use for which the Town seeks to take Liberty’s property is a more necessary public use than the use to which Liberty’s property is presently devoted (Code of Civil Procedure section 1250.370(G) and (c) and section 1250.360(f). Therefore, Liberty’s objections to the Town’s right to take the Apple Valley Water System are sustained.
Finally, the court shall find for Liberty and shall dismiss this action under Code of II Civil Procedure section 1260.120(c)(1).
Barring a miracle in favor of the Town, this decision will become final.
The full text of this decision is available here.
The Town’s ridiculous response is available here.