Oral arguments in the Michael Abatti v. Imperial Irrigation District case has been scheduled for June 12, 2020 in a San Diego courtroom.
The IID filed an appeal in September 2017 looking to overturn a ruling by Imperial County Superior Court Judge Brooks Anderholt that supported Abatti's claim that the District's method of apportioning water , the Equitable Distribution Plan , was invalid. That conclusion was based on the assumption that agricultural landowners owned the water rights held by the District. The IID filed an appeal based on what they said was a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the water rights held by the IID as well as other legal errors that would jeopardize the Imperial Valley's historic water rights. Throughout the case the IID has argued that IID legally acquired and owns the water rights to the Colorado River water that it diverts and delivers to the Imperial Valley and that those rights are held by IID " in trust for its uses and purposes " under irrigation district law.