San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority et al v. Locke et al

Filing 132

Memorandum Decision and Order Denying Federal Defendants Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 80), Denying as Moot Motions to Strike Portions of Motions to Dismiss (Doc. 92, 97), and Denying Motion to Strike Portions of Reply (Doc. 125), signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 1/12/2010. (Coffman, Lisa)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 I. INTRODUCTION These co n s o l i d a t e d c a s e s all challenge a June 4, 2009 biologic a l opinion i s s u e d by the National Marine Fisherie s Service (" N M F S " ) finding that the coord i n a t e d operatio n s of the fe d e r a l Central Valley Project ("CVP") and Stat e Water Project ( " S W P " ) are likely to jeo p a r d i z e CONSOLID A T E D SALMON CASES SAN LUIS & DELTA-MENDOTA WATER AU T H O R I T Y , et al. v. LOCKE, e t al. STOCKTON EAST WATER DISTRICT , et a l . v. NOAA, et al. STATE WA T E R CONTRACT O R S v. LOCKE, e t al. Kern COU N T Y WATER AG E N C Y , et al. v. UNITED STATES DEPARTME N T OF COMMER C E , et al. OAKDALE IRRIGATION D I S T R I C T , et al. v . UNITED STA T E S DEPARTME N T OF COMMER C E , et al. METROPOL I T A N WATER D I S T R I C T OF CALIF O R N I A v. NAT I O N A L MARINE F I S H E R I E S SER V I C E , et al. 1:09-CV- 0 1 0 5 3 OWW DLB MEMORANDUM DEC I S I O N AND ORDER DENYING FEDERA L DEFENDANTS' MO T I O N T O DISMISS (DOC. 80), D E N Y I N G AS MOOT MOTION S TO S T R I K E PORTIONS OF MO T I O N T O DISMISS (DOC. 92, 97 ) , AND DENYING MOTION TO ST R I K E PORTIONS OF RE P L Y (D O C . 125) UNITED STATES DISTRI C T CO U R T FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF C A L I F O R N I A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 the cont i n u e d existe n c e and adversely affect the critical habitat of certain s a l m o n i d and other species ("2 0 0 9 Salmon B i O p " ) . 1 Before t h e court for decision is Federal Defendan t s ' motion t o dismiss, p u r s u a n t to Federal Rule of Civil Procedur e 12(b)(1), two of the six consolidated a c t i o n s , namely t h e cases bro u g h t by (1) co-Plaintiffs Kern Cou n t y Water Ag e n c y ("Kern" ) and Coalition For a Sustain a b l e Delta (" C o a l i t i o n " ) and (2) the Metropolitan Wate r District of Southern Cali f o r n i a ("Met"), as "dupl i c a t i v e " of (3) t h e consolida t e d lawsuit filed be the Stat e Water Contract o r s ("SWC"). Doc. 80-2, file d Nov. 2, 2009. Alternat i v e l y , Feder a l Defendants argue that if t h e Kern/Coa l i t i o n and M e t cases remain viable, the S W C case should b e dismissed for lack of standing, in part because Kern and Met are mem b e r s of SWC. Id. SWC opposes dismissa l on either ground, Doc. 99, as do Met, D o c . 102, and the Kern/Coaliti o n pl a i n t i f f s , Doc. 107. Federal Defendants r e p l i e d , arguing, among other things, that dismiss a l of the Kern/Co a l i t i o n acti o n is Th e sp e c i e s ad d r e s s e d b y th i s b i o l o g i c a l op i n i o n ar e : ( 1 ) end a n g e r e d Sa c r a m e n t o Ri v e r wi n t e r - r u n C h i n o o k s a l m o n (O n c o r h y n c h u s tsh a w y t s c h a ) (" w i n t e r - r u n " ) ; ( 2 ) t h r e a t e n e d Ce n t r a l Va l l e y sp r i n g r u n C h i n o o k s a l m o n (O . t s h a w y t s c h a ) (" s p r i n g - r u n " ) ; (3 ) thr e a t e n e d Cen t r a l V a l l e y (" C V " ) st e e l h e a d (O . my k i s s ) ; ( 4 ) t h r e a t e n e d C e n t r a l Cal i f o r n i a Co a s t (" C C C " ) s t e e l h e a d (O. m y k i s s ) ; (5 ) th r e a t e n e d Sou t h e r n Di s t i n c t P o p u l a t i o n S e g m e n t ( " D P S " ) o f No r t h Am e r i c a n gr e e n stu r g e o n (A c i p e n s e r m e d i r o s t r i s ) ( " S o u t h e r n DP S of g r e e n st u r g e o n " ) ; and ( 6 ) e n d a n g e r e d So u t h e r n Re s i d e n t k i l l e r wh a l e s ( O r c i n u s o r c a ) ("S o u t h e r n Re s i d e n t s " ) ( c o l l e c t i v e l y , th e "L i s t e d Sp e c i e s " ) . 1 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 appropri a t e , despite the fact that Kern's co-plaintiff, the Coal i t i o n , is no t a member of the SWC. Never t h e l e s s , "should the Court be inclined to deny this motion as to Coalitio n , " Federal Defen d a n t s request that dismi s s a l should b e without pr e j u d i c e , so that Federal Defe n d a n t s can purs u e discovery into the Coalition's members h i p . Doc. 114 at 6. The Coalition filed a motion to s t r i k e this arg u m e n t , becau s e it was raised for the firs t time in reply . Doc . 125. In the alternative, the Coa l i t i o n requests leave to fi l e a surreply addressing this argument , which has been lodged as Attachment A t o their motion t o strike. D o c . 125-2. The Coal i t i o n and SW C separately move to strike t h o s e portions of Federal Defendants' motions that conc e r n their cl a i m s , on the ground that Federal Defendan t s failed t o give eithe r the Coalition or SWC proper notice that the y would be s e e k i n g dismissal of their cla i m s . Docs. 92 & 97. The September 25, 2009 Sche d u l i n g Conferen c e Order pro v i d e d : "[i]f any party believ e s any ... issu e is resolva b l e by early dispositive moti o n , that party sh a l l give not i c e of the nature of the clai m s on or before O c t o b e r 10, 2 0 0 9 . " Doc. 51 at 21. On Oct o b e r 5, 2009, Fe d e r a l Defend a n t s gave notice of their int e n t to move to dismiss the claims brought by KCWA and Me t , but 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 made no mention of t h e Coalition or SWC's claims, Doc. 55 at 1, no r have Feder a l Defendants made any reques t to modify t h e Schedulin g Order. the moti o n s to strik e . replied. Federal Defendants oppose Th e Coal i t i o n and S W C Doc. 113. Docs. 127 & 128. II. STANDARD OF DE C I S I O N Federal Defendants r e l y exclusively on Federal Ru l e of Civil Procedure 1 2 ( b ) ( 1 ) , which allows a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. It i s a fundamen t a l precept that federal courts are court s of limited jurisdiction . Limits upon federal jurisd i c t i o n Owen Eq u i p m e n t & The must not be disregar d e d or evaded. Erection Co. v. Krog e r , 4 3 7 U . S . 365, 374 (1978). plaintif f has the bu r d e n to e s t a b l i s h that subject mat t e r jurisdic t i o n is prop e r . Kokkonen v. Guardian Lif e Ins. This burden, at the Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). pleading stage, must be met by pleading sufficien t allegati o n s to show a proper basis for the court to assert s u b j e c t matter jurisdiction over the actio n . McNutt v . General Mo t o r s Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 17 8 , 189 (193 6 ) ; Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(1). When a defe n d a n t challeng e s jurisdict i o n facially, all material allegati o n s in the c o m p l a i n t are assumed true, an d the question for the cou r t is whether the lack of fed e r a l 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 jurisdic t i o n appears from the face of the pleadin g itself. 2009). III. DISCUSSI O N A. The Chal l e n g e d Parti e s . In its C o m p l a i n t , SW C alleges that "Plaintiff [SW C ] is ... a non-p r o f i t mutual benefit corporation organized and exis t i n g under t h e laws of the State of Calif o r n i a to represen t the common interests of 27 public water supply agencies located in California's Central Valley, in the San Fran c i s c o Bay ar e a , along California's Centra l Coa s t , and in S o u t h e r n Cali f o r n i a . " also all e g e s : [T]he ef f e c t s of Def e n d a n t s ' actions will be felt by [State Contr a c t o r s ] and its member agencies .... The me m b e r agencies of the State Contract o r s include 27 public distric t s and agencies which provi d e water in numerous counties , including to users in Kings and Kern Counties [ , ] ... redu c t i o n s in exports from the Delta wi l l place gre a t e r demands upon alternat i v e sources of water, including groundwa t e r , that are use d to meet reasonab l e and bene f i c i a l water demands within Merced, Fresno, Kings and Ke r n Counties. Id. at 1 3 . The Kern / C o a l i t i o n Compla i n t contains the f o l l o w i n g allegati o n s regardin g Kern: [Kern] i s a public a g e n c y that was created in July 196 1 by a speci a l ac t of the Californi a State Le g i s l a t u r e an d ratified by the electorate of Kern County in Se p t e m b e r 1961. [Kern] was 5 SWC Complaint at 1 4 . SWC Doe v. Holy See, 557 F.3d 1066, 1073 (9th Cir . 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 granted the primary power to acquire and contract for water s u p p l i e s for Kern County. (Kern Co a l i t i o n Comp l a i n t at 9.) [Kern] i s a wholesal e r of SWP water for ... agricult u r a l and mun i c i p a l and industrial uses. (Id.) The serv i c e area for [Kern] encompasses all the territor y within the San Joaquin Valley portion of Kern County. (Id.) [Kern] p r o v i d e s a po r t i o n of, and in some cases the enti r e water sup p l y for approximately 719,000 acres of pri m e farmland . . . , and for some 500 , 0 0 0 residen t s of Kern County. (Id.) Approxim a t e l y 98 per c e n t of [Kern's] water is imported by the [Sta t e Water Project ("SWP")]. (Id.) In terms of contract amou n t w i t h [the Depar t m e n t of Water Resources ( " D W R " ) ] , [Kern] is the second l a r g e s t SWP c o n t r a c t o r . (Id.) The Kern / C o a l i t i o n Compla i n t also contains the fo l l o w i n g allegati o n s regardin g the Coalition and its membe r s : Plaintif f Coalition is comprised of i n d i v i d u a l and agri c u l t u r a l wat e r users and of individuals within t h e San Joaqu i n Valley. The Coalition is bringing this action on behalf of itself and its members. (Id. at 12.) The purp o s e of the C o a l i t i o n is to advance the interest s of its members, namely, (1) to be t t e r the cond i t i o n s of th o s e engaged in agricultural pursuits in the San Joaquin Valley and (2) to ensure a sustainable and reliable water supply by prote c t i n g the De l t a and promoting a strategy to ensur e its sustai n a b i l i t y . (Id.) Certain Coalition me m b e r s have contracts with various agencies for the delivery of [Central Valley P r o j e c t ("CVP " ) ] and SWP water, and as such, de p e n d on CVP and SWP deliveries from the Delta to the San Joa q u i n Valley for their water supply. Certain Coalitio n members have contract s to receive water through 2035. These contract s are expect e d to be extended beyond that dat e . Thus, th e Coalition and its members have a l o n g - t e r m interest in the overall health of the D e l t a and its ecosystem, which includes 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 the main t e n a n c e of v i a b l e populations of the salmonid s and the gr e e n sturgeon [at issue in the liti g a t i o n ] . (Id. at 13.) Certain Coalition me m b e r s ' contracts for delivery of SWP wate r require payment for their full con t r a c t u a l ent i t l e m e n t regardless of the amount o f water actu a l l y delivered in any given year thr o u g h the SWP . (Id. a t 14.) [R]educe d delivery o f surface water through the SWP is l i k e l y to res u l t in increased reliance on groundwa t e r for irri g a t i o n supplies, which will result i n overdraft of the groundwate r basi n s that und e r l i e the la n d s of the Coalition members. (Id.) Coalitio n members vi e w , enjoy, and use the Delta ecosyste m . Coalitio n members routinely engage in vario u s recreatio n a l activities in the Delta includ i n g boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing and have c o n c r e t e plans to continue to do so in the future. . . . The decline of the salmonid s and the Li s t e d Species has had and continue s to have a substantial negative impact on Coali t i o n members , impairing their use and enjoymen t of the Del t a and Listed Spe c i e s . (Id. at 15.) Met's Co m p l a i n t alle g e s : 37. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern Californ i a is the la r g e s t provider of treated drinking water in th e United States. 38. Metr o p o l i t a n was created pursuant to an Act of the C a l i f o r n i a Le g i s l a t u r e in 1927 and was official l y incorpora t e d in December of 1928. 39. The mission of M e t r o p o l i t a n , as promulgated by its B o a r d , is to provide its service area with ade q u a t e and re l i a b l e supplies of high quality water to mee t present and future ne e d s in an en v i r o n m e n t a l l y and economically responsi b l e way. 40. Metr o p o l i t a n ' s s i x - c o u n t y service area encompas s e s 5,200 sq u a r e miles in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, S a n Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties. So m e agencies within this service area depend on Metropolitan to supply 100 perc e n t of their water needs. In fact, 19 million Californians--approximately ha l f of the populati o n of the st a t e -- r e l y on Metropolita n for some or all of the w a t e r they use in their homes 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 B. and busi n e s s e s . Metropolitan's water supply helps su s t a i n the ec o n o m y of Southern California which ge n e r a t e d a gr o s s domestic product in 2006 of almos t $970 billi o n . This economy is larger than mos t nations of the world. 41. Beca u s e Southern California has an arid climate and does not have sufficient local supplies of water to support its population and economy, water must be imported into the region. Metropol i t a n imports water from two principal sources: northern Ca l i f o r n i a via the SWP, and the Colo r a d o River v i a the Colorado R i v e r Aqueduct . 42. Metr o p o l i t a n fac e s massive challenges in providin g a reliable and high quality water supply f o r Californi a n s , including population growth, increasing e n v i r o n m e n t a l regulations, and vari a b l e weather conditions. 43. SWP water supplies are especially impor t a n t to Metro p o l i t a n beca u s e SWP water has lower salinity content tha n Colorado River Aqueduct water. T h r o u g h blend i n g , SWP water helps attain water qu a l i t y standa r d s , facilitates use of recycled water, and increases groundwater conjunct i v e use appl i c a t i o n s . Motion t o Dismiss Du p l i c a t i v e Complaints. Federal Defendants r e l y on Adams v. Califor n i a Departme n t of Health Services, 487 F.3d 684 , 688 (2007 ) , to suppo r t the unrem a r k a b l e proposition that a di s t r i c t court ge n e r a l l y has the discretion "to dismiss a duplicat i v e later-filed a c t i o n , to stay tha t acti o n pending resolution o f the previously filed action , to enjoin t h e parties f r o m proceeding with it, or to consolid a t e both act i o n s . " In Adams, the p l a i n t i f f , w h o was a ch a l l e n g i n g a state agency's de c i s i o n not to hir e her, sou g h t to amend the complaint, b u t not until well 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 after th e deadline for amendment. Th e dist r i c t court denied p l a i n t i f f ' s m o t i o n to amend and entered a final judgment . Id. at 687. "[I]n an attempt to avoid the conseque n c e s of her own delay and to circumvent t h e district court's den i a l of her untimely motion," the exact sa m e plaintiff then filed a second lawsuit, raising similar claims, but naming some additional defend a n t s . Id. at 688. The Nint h Circuit be g a n w i t h the general proposit i o n that "[p ] l a i n t i f f s generally have no right to mai n t a i n two sepa r a t e actions involving the same subject m a t t e r at the same time in the same court and against the s a m e defendan t . " Id. Then, borrowing from the test f o r cl a i m preclusi o n , Ad a m s articul a t e d a test for de t e r m i n i n g whether a suit is du p l i c a t i v e : [I]n ass e s s i n g wheth e r the second action is duplicat i v e of the f i r s t , we examine whether the causes o f action and relief sought, as well as the part i e s or privi e s to the action, are t h e same. Id. at 6 8 8 - 8 9 . Under th e first part of the duplicative action te s t , "[t]o as c e r t a i n whet h e r successive causes of acti o n are the same , [a court s h o u l d ] use the transaction te s t , develope d in the con t e x t of claim preclusion." 689. 9 Id. at 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Whether two events a r e part of the same transact i o n or serie s depends on whether they are rela t e d to the s a m e set of facts and whether they cou l d convenien t l y be tried together. In applying the transac t i o n test, we examine four criteria : (1) whethe r rights or inter e s t s establis h e d in the p r i o r judgment would be destroye d or impaire d by prosecution of the second a c t i o n ; (2) w h e t h e r substantially the same evi d e n c e is pre s e n t e d in the two actions; (3) whet h e r the two suits involve infringement of the s a m e right; a n d (4) whether the two suits arise ou t of the sam e transactional nucleus of facts. The last of these criteria is the most importan t . Id. (int e r n a l citati o n s and quotations omitted). The two actions at i s s u e in Adams shared a common transact i o n a l nucleu s of facts. Likewise, it is undisput e d that all six consolidated cases share a common transact i o n a l nucleu s of facts, namely the issuan c e of the 2009 Salmon BiOp , and that the claims in all six cases su b s t a n t i a l l y overlap. See Doc . 51 at 7-18. Under th e second par t of the duplicative action t e s t , a court must "examin e whether ... the parties or privies to the a c t i o n [ ] are the same." Id. a t 689. Adams applied the concept of "virtual representation" t o determin e whether se v e r a l new defendants added to the second a c t i o n were " i n privity" with the original defendan t . Id . at 689. Although the concept of privity traditionally applied to a narrow class of relationships in which a person is so identified in interest with a party to former li t i g a t i o n that he represents 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 precisel y the same r i g h t in respect to the subject matter invol v e d , we have expanded the concept to include a broader array of relation s h i p s which fit under the title of "virtual representat i o n . " The necessary elements of virtual represent a t i o n are an identity of interest s and adequate represen t a t i o n . Add i t i o n a l features of a virtual representati o n relationship include a close re l a t i o n s h i p , substantial participation, and tact i c a l maneuve r i n g . Id. at. 691. Applying the concept of "virt u a l represen t a t i o n , " Adams fo u n d the new defendants w e r e in privity with the old . In light of these findings , Adams conclude d that the d i s t r i c t court did not abuse i t s discreti o n by dismis s i n g the second action with p r e j u d c e . Id. at 6 9 2 . Dismissa l of the dup l i c a t i v e lawsuit, more so than the issuance of a stay or the enjoinment of proceedi n g s , promote s judicial economy and the comprehe n s i v e dispos i t i o n of litigation. In dismissi n g the dupli c a t i v e suit with prejudice, the dist r i c t court a c t e d to protect t h e parties from vex a t i o u s and e x p e n s i v e litigation and to serve th e societal i n t e r e s t in bringing an end to dispu t e s . *** Adams ha d a full and fair opportunity to raise and liti g a t e in her first action the claims she now asse r t s in this action. Id. at 6 9 2 (in t e r n a l citations omitted). The Supr e m e Court ha s since rejected "virtual represen t a t i o n " as a basis for finding privity in the preclusi o n context. Taylor v. Sturge l l , __ U.S. __, 1 2 8 11 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 S. Ct. 2 1 6 1 , 2178 (2008). Instead, the Supreme C o u r t articula t e d six cate g o r i e s of excepti o n s to the general rule for b i d d i n g nonp a r t y preclusion. Id. a t 2172 . First, a "person who agrees to be bound by the determin a t i o n of iss u e s in an action between othe r s is bound... . " Id . Second, certain "pre-exist i n g substant i v e legal re l a t i o n s h i p s between the perso n to be bound an d a party to the judgment" will bind cert a i n nonparties. Id. (internal quotations omitted). Third, "in certain limited circ u m s t a n c e s , a nonparty may be bound by a judgme n t [if] she was adequately re p r e s e n t e d by someone with the same intere s t s who was a party to the su i t . " Id. (int e r n a l quotation omitted). Fourth, "a nonparty is bound by a judgment if she assumed control over t h e litigati o n in which the judgment was rendered." 2173 (in t e r n a l quotation omitted). Id. at Fifth, "a par t y bound by a jud g m e n t may no t avoid its preclusive force by relitiga t i n g through a proxy." Id. Sixth, "in certain circumst a n c e s , a spe c i a l statutory scheme may exp r e s s l y foreclos e successive litigation by nonlitigants ... if the sche m e is otherw i s e consistent with due proce s s . " Id. (alt e r a t i o n in o r i g i n a l ) . 2 Pl a i n t i f f s p r o t e s t t h a t A d a m s ' du p l i c a t i v e ac t i o n t e s t , ev e n wit h Ta y l o r ' s p r i v i t y st a n d a r d r e p l a c i n g t h e " v i r t u a l rep r e s e n t a t i o n " d o c t r i n e , sh o u l d n o t b e ap p l i e d he r e b e c a u s e , u n l i k e in Ad a m s , T a y l o r , a n d ev e r y ot h e r c a s e c i t e d b y Fe d e r a l Def e n d a n t s , 2 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 All, sav e the third exception, are obviously inapplic a b l e . The f i r s t exception is inapplicabl e because there is no suggestion that Kern, Met, or SWC have agr e e d to be bo u n d b y the others' acti o n s . The seco n d exception requires a pre-existin g , substant i v e legal re l a t i o n s h i p , such as tha t aris i n g between preceding an d succeeding owners of proper t y , bailees and bailors, and assignees and assignors, none of which ap p l y here. Taylor , 128 S. Ct. at 2172. The four t h exception applies when a nonparty assu m e d control of the prior litigation and then attempts to file no cl a i m or i s s u e h a s re a c h e d fi n a l ju d g m e n t i n an y of t h e Con s o l i d a t e d Sa l m o n C a s e s . Se e al s o T a h o e - S i e r r a Pr e s . Cou n c i l , Inc . v. T a h o e R e g ' l P l a n n i n g A g e n c y , 3 2 2 F . 3 d 10 6 4 , 10 8 2 (9 t h C i r . 200 3 ) ( i n d i v i d u a l me m b e r s o f a pr o p e r t y o w n e r s as s o c i a t i o n p r e c l u d e d fro m br i n g i n g s u b s e q u e n t a c t i o n be c a u s e th e as s o c i a t i o n had a l r e a d y lit i g a t e d t h e s a m e cl a i m s in a n ea r l i e r su i t ) ; B o l d e n v. Pen n s y l v a n i a St a t e Po l i c e , 5 7 8 F . 2 d 91 2 (3 d Ci r . 1 9 7 8 ) ( u p h o l d i n g den i a l of m o t i o n to i n t e r v e n e by F r a t e r n a l O r d e r o f Po l i c e (" F O P " ) and s o m e of i t s i n d i v i d u a l m e m b e r s in a ca s e t o ch a l l e n g e t h e t e r m s of a fi n a l co n s e n t de c r e e in l i g h t of ev i d e n c e t h a t FO P vot e d t o app r o v e e n t r y i n t o co n s e n t d e c r e e ) ; Ya n k t o n Si o u x Tr i b e v. U. S . Dep a r t m e n t of H e a l t h & H u m a n S e r v i c e s , 5 3 3 F . 3 d 63 4 (8 t h Ci r . 200 8 ) ( a f f i r m i n g d i s m i s s a l of l a w s u i t b r o u g h t b y Tr i b e an d i n d i v i d u a l mem b e r of T r i b e t o re l i t i g a t e cl a i m s b r o u g h t t o ju d g m e n t by T r i b e i n pre v i o u s la w s u i t ) . Pla i n t i f f s ar e co r r e c t t h a t Ad a m s i s d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e . H o w e v e r , bef o r e ju d g m e n t i s en t e r e d i n an y p o s s i b l y d u p l i c a t i v e a c t i o n , th e tri a l c o u r t r e t a i n s t h e di s c r e t i o n to di s m i s s , s t a y , o r con s o l i d a t e the d u p l i c a t i v e a c t i o n s . Fo r ex a m p l e , i n Wa l t o n v . Ea t o n C o r p . , 56 3 F.2 d 66 , 70 ( 3 d C i r . 197 7 ) , wh i c h A d a m s qu o t e d f o r t h e g e n e r a l ru l e tha t "[ p ] l a i n t i f f s ge n e r a l l y h a v e n o r i g h t t o ma i n t a i n t w o se p a r a t e act i o n s i n v o l v i n g t h e sa m e s u b j e c t mat t e r at t h e s a m e ti m e in t h e sam e co u r t an d ag a i n s t t h e s a m e de f e n d a n t , " th e Th i r d Ci r c u i t app r o v e d of a d i s t r i c t c o u r t ' s c o n s o l i d a t i o n o f tw o ne a r l y id e n t i c a l law s u i t s br o u g h t by t h e sa m e p l a i n t i f f , on i t s o w n m o t i o n a n d b e f o r e any j u d g m e n t s h a d b e e n e n t e r e d . W a l t o n al s o n o t e d t h a t dis m i s s a l o r sta y of t h e l a t e r - f i l e d ac t i o n w o u l d h a v e be e n p e r m i s s i b l e . Id . Her e , t h e d i s t r i c t co u r t r e t a i n s t h e s a m e po w e r to c o n t r o l it s doc k e t wi t h r e s p e c t t o d u p l i c a t i v e act i o n s . H o w e v e r , th e q u e s t i o n rem a i n s w h e t h e r t h e T a y l o r p r i v i t y sta n d a r d is m e t i n co n n e c t i o n wit h th e ch a l l e n g e d l a w s u i t s . 13 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 its own case on the same grounds. Id. at 2 1 7 3 . In determin i n g whether such control was asserted, a court consider s whether th e non-par t y : (1) required the previous lawsuit to be filed; (2) reviewed and ap p r o v e d the comp l a i n t ; (3) p a i d attorneys' fees and costs ; (4) directed the appeal; (5) appeared and submitted a brief as an am i c u s ; (6) di r e c t e d the filing of the notice of appeal; and (7) effe c t u a t e d the abandonment of th a t appeal b y a party in the proceeding. States, 440 U.S. 147 , 154 (1979). Monta n a v. United He r e , the Federal Defendan t s do not su g g e s t this exception applies, as all cases we r e independently initiated. The fift h exception does not apply because there has been no judgment in any of the consolidated actio n s , so it is no t possible f o r any plaintiff to be reliti g a t i n g through a proxy. The sixt h exception is inapplicable because there is no succe s s i v e litiga t i o n or applicable "special s t a t u t o r y scheme" regarding su c c e s s i v e litigation by non-parties. The thir d exception concerns whether the non-party was adeq u a t e l y repre s e n t e d by a party with the sa m e interest s . Ta y l o r , 128 S . Ct. at 2172. A party's represen t a t i o n of an o t h e r is "adequate" if, at a minimum: (1) the interests of the nonparty and her represe n t a t i v e 14 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 are alig n e d ; and (2) either the party understood herself to be ac t i n g in a re p r e s e n t a t i v e capacity or the original court to o k car e to protect the interests of the nonpar t y . Id. at 2 1 7 6 . Federal Defendants c i t e Tahoe - S i e r r a Preservation Council, Inc. v. Tah o e Regional Planning Agency, 322 F.3d 1064, 10 8 2 (9th Cir. 2003), f o r the proposition that a n associat i o n filing s u i t on behalf of its members automati c a l l y trigge r s the third exception. held: One of t h e relations h i p s that has been deemed `suffici e n t l y close' to justify a finding of privity is that of a n organization or unincorp o r a t e d assoc i a t i o n filing suit on behalf of its m e m b e r s . . . . Of course, the organization must ade q u a t e l y repr e s e n t the interests of its individu a l members i f its representation is to satisfy the due proc e s s concerns articulated in Hansberr y v. Lee, 311 U.S. 32, 40 43 (1940) . . . . However, if there is no conflict between the organiza t i o n and its members, and if the organiza t i o n provide s adequate representation on its memb e r s ' behalf, individual members not named in a lawsuit m a y be bound by the judgment won or l o s t by their organization. Id. at 1 0 8 2 (i n t e r n a l citations omitted). Federal Defendants s u g g e s t that the record demonstr a t e s only th e possibility of conflict amo n g s t the members of the SWC, not conflict between the orga n i z a t i o n and its members. See Declaration of Terry Erlewine, D o c . Tahoe Sierra 103, 8-9 (S W C ' s m e m b e r s "do not always h a v e common 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 interest s ; " SWC's me m b e r s ' "interests do not nece s s a r i l y align"). Federal De f e n d a n t s also suggest that SW C can provide adequate rep r e s e n t a t i o n on its members' b e h a l f given th a t SWC is se e k i n g the same de c l a r a t o r y and prospect i v e relief s o u g h t by its members. Federal Defendants i g n o r e two important issues. First, S W C and its m e m b e r s , Kern and Met, specifi c a l l y disclaim having any understanding that SWC would be acting i n a complete representative capacit y . Kern and Met serv e different types of water users with pot e n t i a l l y conflict i n g interest s , as each water users seeks water it has cont r a c t e d for, even at the expense of other water users. SWC is repre s e n t i n g only the common inter e s t s of its dive r s e me m b e r s h i p : [SWC] re p r e s e n t s onl y the common interests of its 27 m e m b e r agenci e s , not the individual interest s of just tw o of those 27 members.... As empha s i z e d above, the State Contractors represen t only the ` c o m m o n interests' of their 27 membe r agencies, not any individual, dis t i n c t interest s of KCWA, M W D , or any other member agency m a y have.... [SWC] recognize[s] that they can n o t represen t each of their members' special, individuali z e d interest and are instead concerne d with prote c t i n g the members' common interest s . Doc. 99 at 16, 21. Second, Federal Defe n d a n t s fail to acknowledge th e complex reality in w h i c h the two member plaintiff s operate. For exampl e , Met obtains water from mul t i p l e 16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 non-CVP source s , including the Colorado River, local watershe d s , and wate r re- u s e facilities, which it mixes with SWP water befor e delivery to domestic, indus t r i a l , and agri c u l t u r a l use r s . Because of the potential l y higher l e g a l and con t r a c t u a l priorities assigned to domestic over agricu l t u r a l use, Met is likely to have differen t , and poten t i a l l y conflicting priorities , as compared to the Kern / C o a l i t i o n plaintiffs, which represen t primarily agricultural users in the sou t h e r n San Joaq u i n Valley. While SWC, a highly experien c e d litigant , may take t h e laboring oar with respect to interest s that Met, Kern, and its 25 other member s may share, S W C can n o t act in a "representative" capac i t y t o pursue s p e c i f i c reli e f that benefits some of its members at the e x p e n s e of ot h e r s . Met and Kern are entit l e d to pursue t h e i r unique and potentially d i f f e r i n g interest s separate l y , while re l y i n g on SWC to represent the common interest s of all SWP users. Under the circumstan c e s , Met and Kern are not in privity with SWC for all purp o s e s of the dupl i c a t i v e acti o n inquiry. Even if, argue n d o , t h e Adams/Taylor duplicative action t e s t were sat i s f i e d here, the district cou r t has exercise d its discre t i o n to consolidate, rather t h a n dismiss, the challen g e d complaints. 17 This approac h , which 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 is artic u l a t e d in de t a i l in the scheduling order and which ha s been follo w e d in the parall e l Del t a Smelt Consolid a t e d Cases, 1:09- c v - 0 0 4 0 7 , ad e q u a t e l y pre s e r v e s the part i e s ' unique interests, and conserves part y and judicial resources. Federal Defendants have not demonstr a t e d any pre j u d i c e will result from maintaining these ca s e s as conso l i d a t e d actions. Every effor t is being ma d e to elimin a t e duplication and promote p a r t y and judicial economy. I t is preferable to do so simultan e o u s l y in co n s o l i d a t e d cases rather than separate l y , in six c a s e s . The moti o n to dismiss the Kern/Coalition and Met complain t s as duplic a t i v e is DENIED. C. Motion t o Dismiss St a t e Water Contractor's Compla i n t For Lack of Standing . Alternat i v e l y , Feder a l Defendants contend that "i f the dire c t participa t i o n of the KCWA Plaintiffs a n d MW D is neces s a r y to prot e c t their asserted claims and requeste d relief ... , then SWC lacks standing and must be dismisse d . " Doc. 80-2 at 10. An org a n i z a t i o n can establis h standing t o sue on behalf of its indivi d u a l members if: (1) its members would otherwise have stand i n g to sue i n their own right; (ii) the interests it seeks to protect are germane to the organization's purpose ; and (iii) ne i t h e r the cl a i m asserted nor the relief r e q u e s t e d 18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 requires the partici p a t i o n of individual members in the lawsuit. Hunt v. Wa s h i n g t o n State Apple Ad v e r . Comm'n , 432 U.S. 333, 342-43 (197 7 ) ; United Union o f Roof e r s , Waterpro o f e r s , and A l l i e d Trades No. 40 v. Insura n c e Corp. of Am., 919 F.2d 1398, 1400 (9th Cir. 1990). It is un d i s p u t e d tha t both Kern and Met are individu a l member ag e n c i e s of SWC. Federal Defen d a n t s maintain that, under Hunt's third prong, "in orde r for SWC to h a v e standing to sue on their behalf, the particip a t i o n in thi s lawsuit of the KCWA Plainti f f s or MWD cann o t be necess a r y to the prosecution of SWC's claims o r its reques t e d relief." Doc. 80-2 at 10 . Federal Defendants' argument continues: It appea r s , however, that the KCWA Plaintiffs and MWD do consider their direct participation necessar y . After SW C filed suit, for example, both fil e d their own laws u i t s , which, as detailed above, asse r t substantively identical claims a n d seek the same relief sought by SWC. Moreover , the KCWA P l a i n t i f f s and MWD have each engaged their own co u n s e l of record to prosecute these (o v e r l a p p i n g ) claims. If their direc t particip a t i o n is nec e s s a r y , as these actions suggest, SWC cannot establish the third prong necessar y to show as s o c i a t i o n a l standing-- t h a t neither its claims a s s e r t e d nor its relief requeste d requires p a r t i c i p a t i o n of individual members-- a n d it must be dismis s e d . Id. at 1 0 - 1 1 . Federal Defendants m i s a p p l y the scope of Hunt's t h i r d prong. Hunt i t s e l f sheds little light on the applicat i o n 19 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 of this element. Ho w e v e r , Hunt's three-par t test reli e s In heavily upon W a r t h v. Seldin, 422 U.S . 490 (1975) . Warth, t h e Sup r e m e Court rejected an associ a t i o n ' s argument that it had standing to bring damages cl a i m s on behalf o f individual members "not common to the e n t i r e membersh i p , nor shar e d by all in equal degree." 515. Id. at To the contrar y , Warth conclude d that "whatever injury m a y have been suffered is peculiar to the individu a l member co n c e r n e d , and both the fact an d extent of injur y would requ i r e individualized proof." 515-16. Id. at "Thus , to obtain relief in damages, each member of [the association] who clai m s injury as a result of responde n t ' practice s must be a party to the suit , and [the ass o c i a t i o n ] ha s no standing to claim damage s on his behalf." Id. at 516. Here, wh i l e Kern and Met have the right to separa t e l y sue to p r o t e c t their own, unique interests, their particip a t i o n is not a legal prerequisite to SWC' s maintena n c e of its c h a l l e n g e to the 2009 Salmon B i O p on behalf o f the common interests of its members and its request for appropri a t e injunctive relief. As SW C undisput a b l y satisfi e s the first two Hunt requirements -(1) its members woul d otherwise have standing to sue in their ow n right, as each is injured by Defendants ' 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 actions, and (2) the interests SWC seeks to prote c t are germane to its organ i z a t i o n a l purpose, preserving contract u a l and related water rights and supplies -- S W C has orga n i z a t i o n a l s t a n d i n g to pursue these commo n i n t e r e s t claims. It is not necessary to address SWC's alternat i v e basis fo r standing in its own right. The moti o n to dismis s for lack of standing is DEN I E D . D. Motions to Str i k e . Denial o f the motion to dismiss moots two of the related motions to s t r i k e , which concern only the merits of the m o t i o n to dis m i s s . Doc. 92, 97. The thir d motion to strike, filed by the Coalitio n , concerns Federal Def e n d a n t s ' request in its reply that denial o f their moti o n to dismiss should be witho u t prejudic e , so that F e d e r a l Defendants can pursue discover y into Coali t i o n ' s membership. Doc. 114 at 6. The Coal i t i o n moves to strike this argument becau s e it was rais e d for the f i r s t time in reply. Do c . 125 . In the alte r n a t i v e , the Coalition requests leave to file a surreply addressing this argument, which has been lodged as Attac h m e n t A to t h e i r motion to strike. Doc. 125-2. Although advanced fo r the first time in a reply b r i e f , Federal Defendants' request for a den i a l of its motion without prejudice pe n d i n g discovery is not unexpe c t e d and 21 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 will be considered. Because it constitutes new m a t e r i a l , The the Coal i t i o n ' s surr e p l y will also be considered. motion t o strike is DENIED. The meri t s of the ar g u m e n t and the surreply are easily r e s o l v e d . As a matter of law, if the cour t determin e s "at any t i m e " that it lacks subject ma t t e r jurisdic t i o n , the co u r t must dismiss an action. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). See F e d . It is perfectly permissible for a defendan t to move to dismiss under this rule on m u l t i p l e occasion s , for examp l e , if new evidence is discov e r e d . See Arba u g h v. Y & H Corp., 5 4 6 U.S. 500, 506 (2006) ("The ob j e c t i o n that a federal court lacks subjec t - m a t t e r jurisdic t i o n ... may be raised by a p a r t y , or by a cou r t on its o w n initiativ e , at any stage in the litiga t i o n , even aft e r trial and the entry of judgment."). Accordin g l y , denial of a Rule 12(b)(1) motion is inherent l y without p r e j u d i c e . As for t h e Federal D e f e n d a n t s ' right to obtain discover y from the C o a l i t i o n , no such discovery m o t i o n is before t h e court at this time. Ordinarily, preli m i n a r y discover y directed a t a parties' standing is perm i t t e d . The matt e r was not r e s o l v e d at the hearing on the s e motions. 22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 IV. CONCLUSION For the reason s set forth above: (1) Fede r a l Defendan t s ' motion to dismiss the Kern/Coa l i t i o n and Met co m p l a i n t s as duplicative is DENIED; (2) Fede r a l Defendan t s ' motion to dismiss SWC's complain t for lack o f standing is DENIED; (3) Kern / C o a l i t i o n a n d Met's motions to strike portions of the moti o n to dismiss are DENIED AS M O O T ; (4) The Coalition's motion to strike portions of Federal Defendants' reply brief is DENIED, but th e Coalitio n ' s surreply will be considered. SO ORDER E D Dated: J a n u a r y 12, 2 0 1 0 /s/ O l i v e r W. Wan g e r Oliver W. Wang e r United States Distri c t Judge 23

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.


Why Is My Information Online?