|You have been served.|
Comrade Governor Jerry Brown wants a single judge to decide the entire corrupt high speed rail program
- The Leftist Democrats are desperate to make sure the corrupt unions and businesses sucking on the Bullet Train money are protected from the people.
(San Jose Mercury News) - If you're reading this, consider yourself served.
The People's Republic of California has filed a civil case against everyone -- literally, the whole world -- seeking to validate $8.6 billion in voter-approved bonds for its $69 billion high-speed rail project.
The lawsuit, titled "High-Speed Rail Authority v. All Persons Interested," is meant as a pre-emptive strike so the state can confirm that it's definitely legal to issue some of the bonds needed to begin bullet train construction this summer. By citing a somewhat obscure California civil code, the state can use the "sue now or forever hold your peace" strategy to prevent a string of future lawsuits and, instead, deal with the legal issues in one fell swoop.
The state's biggest-ever project is also one of its most controversial, which has led the rail authority to swat away lawsuit after lawsuit since California voters approved the bullet train in November 2008.
"You might as well do it for the whole shebang," said Oakland-based attorney Stuart Flashman, one of the lawyers already suing the rail authority. He will join this new case, too, and expects at least a half-dozen people to join him.
"It says you've got the court's stamp of approval," he said. "Nobody can come back and say, 'You shouldn't issue these bonds.' "
Lawyers say this "validation" process, while not well known, isn't necessarily uncommon among public agencies that want to create a legal shield against future lawsuits to calm investors interested in their bonds.
The city of San Jose did it in 2009, for example, before issuing bonds to expand its convention center. Even then, that case ended up being tied up for a year because a gadfly signed up to challenge it, before the city won, said City Attorney Rick Doyle.
"You never know what you're going to get," he said. "You could get a crazy person filing something."
Riverside attorney Danielle Sakai, who has represented clients in several similar cases for the law firm Best Best & Krieger, said, "It could take years to work its way through the courts, but once that's done, it's done, and it can't be challenged."
The rail authority released a statement saying the attorney general's strategy, unveiled in Sacramento County Superior Court last week, "promotes judicial economy" by combining all potential lawsuits into one.