(The continuing saga of Abatti vs IID)....Tuesday Court of Appeals granted Imperial Irrigation District's Petition.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal this week granted the IID's petition for a writ of mandate against the trial court in th Mike Abatti versus Imperial Irrigation District litigation, directing Imperial County Superior Court Judge Brooks Anderholt to enter a new order disqualifying himself from the case. The Court of Appeal found that Judge Anderholt erred when he denied the preemptory challenge IID filed against him, to which it was entitled by law. The Court observed that the relief it was granting was appropriate since "The applicable law is settled, the District is clearly entitled to relief and disqualification issues require prompt resolution. The District had sought Judge Anderholt's recusal from the case citing instances of prejudice in the administrative record, after his original decision in the water rights litigation was largely reversed this summer by the same appellate court. IID Board President Norma Galindo said the Court of Appeal's order affirms the belief that this judge demonstrated a bias against the Imperial Irrigation District. She said this bias led him to make a number of incorrect decisions that the Court of Appeal identified in their opinion. She said with a new judge, the IID stands a better chance of a fair outcome, one that benefits all the water users that the IID serves.