Next stage in the Independence water grab lawsuit and outcome of the status conference:
As the information in my last email to all of you indicated, on October 21, 2021 the status conference for trial setting and deadlines happened. Below I have bolded, underlined and put in red the deadlines for all opposers, whether or not you are represented by an attorney. If you don’t have an attorney, you are a Pro See Opposer/Objector and must file the 26(a) (attached) yourself. IF YOU DO NOT FILE A 26(a) form coupled with your comments (due December 3, 2021)by November 23, 2021 you “will not be able to participate at trial.” Below I’ve included a suggestion on how to meet the requirements of both of the two dates in one document by November 23, 2021. I hope this will be enough to keep you all in the case. Hopefully, to meet these two requirements I’ve added this language at the bottom of the 26 (a) form: “The Opposer adopts and incorporates the comments to the protests to the referee’s ruling filed by Franktown Citizen’s Coalition II, West Elbert County Well Users Association, and Cordillera Corporation.”
The minute order from the October 21, 2021 status conference reads as follows:
10.21.21 Matter comes on for telephonic status conference. FTR: 1:31-1:54 // Appearances: Trout and Hayes for Applicant, Independence Water. Opposers: Emilie Polley for Cordillera Corp and West Elbert County Well Users; John Buchanan for Franktown. UPDATE: Applicant updates the court. Objectors 26(a) disclosures due by November 23, 2021. Opposer comments to referee ruling filed on July 21, 2021 are due by December 3, 2021. Anyone who does not provide comments by December 3rd will not be able to participate at trial. Applicants response to comments due February 4, 2022. If Applicant receives several comments that are duplicative, they will file a combined response. Court sets 5-day trial for May 8, 2023. Next status conference set for February 17, 2022 at 10:30 am. Counsel Buchanan requests Applicant set up an email list to opposers to avoid the cost of e-filing. Applicant objects as they do not have all emails to all opposers and would need to send out a waiver to all opposers re obtaining pleadings via email. Court denies request of Atty Buchanan. Atty Buchanan to file a Motion with authority if he wants the court to reconsider request to serve via email. Applicant to file notice and include Div. 4 conference line 720-650-7664, access code 925 011 953#.
SUGGESTED APPROACH TO MEET MINUTE ORDER REQUIREMENTS. Fill out the 26(a) form as best you can. Most of the rest of it is filled out for you. Obviously, put in your name(s) and address in the appropriate place.
To file the 26(a)(1), basically pro se opposers would have to fill out your name, address, phone number and email in the caption; fill out your name(s) in the first blank; fill out your name, address, and phone number in section A.1 (and A.2) if there is another person); and then sign and date the form.
The form basically just gives your contact info and states that you do not have any documents that are relevant to the case other than “documents related to the water and other property rights owned by Opposer.” As parties in the case, they will be subject to discovery, so Independence could, for example, request to see such documents, which could include a deed to your property, well permit, court decree adjudicating water under their property, etc. to show you are in the aquifer.
I hope all of you Pro Se Opposers fill it out and send it in, with comments included, by November 23, 2021 so you are not dismissed from the lawsuit.
WE MUST KEEP A LARGE NUMBER OF OPPOSERS IN THIS EFFORT SO THAT THE JUDGE (HE’S NEW TO THE WATER COURT) CAN SEE HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS TO ALL OF US. So please if you are a Pro Se Opposer fill out and file the 26(a) and send it in.
Please be advised that the FCC II will continue to fight this for all our wells as long as we have the funds to pay our attorney and they are getting low..
As always, I don’t have everyone’s emails fo please forward this to anyone who may not have received it.
Bless you all.