Superior Court >General Stream Adjudication >Adjudication Bulletin

Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin
Vol. 14, No. 2
May-August 2006

Welcome to the Online Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin

The Bulletin is published three times a year by the Office of the Special Master to provide information about proceedings in the Gila River Adjudication and the Little Colorado River Adjudication.

Departments:

Calendar
Archive

Office of the Special Master Maricopa Superior Court

Central Court Building 5B
201 West Jefferson
Phoenix, AZ 85003-2205
Tel. 602-372-4115

The Bulletin relies on links as we believe that making a copy of the entire document available to our readers is better than a short summary. Always check our What's New page frequently for up-to-date notices and documents.

Kathy Dolge

Kathy Dolge is well known to everyone who has been closely involved with the adjudications. Since December 3, 1990, she has been the assistant to the Special Master. Kathy has been instrumental in developing the case management procedures, administering the finances of the office, and running the shop. She assumed the editorship of the Bulletin when publication went online. Her imprint is in every document that has come through this office. No meeting has been possible without her having arranged it. She has been the organizational glue and bond of our office. Kathy will retire on October 5, 2006. We will greatly miss her.

New Telephone Numbers

On October 9, 2006, all telephone numbers of the Administrative Office of the Courts will change. The new telephone number for the office of the Special Master will be 602-452-3600 and fax 602-452-3602.

Arizona Supreme Court Interlocutory Appeals

In re the Preclusive Effect of the Globe Equity No. 59 Decree on Specified Parties, Gila River Adjudication, Interlocutory Appeal WC-02-0003-IR (Cont. Case No. W1-206), Gila River Adjudication: The San Carlos Apache Tribe has petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the decision of the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Supreme Court's denial of the Tribe's motion for reconsideration. The Tribe presented for review two issues. The first issue deals with federal principles of privity and comity and the second alleges violations of constitutional due process and equal protection of laws.

After considering responses, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to grant or deny the petition. This contested case involves the claims of the Tribe to the mainstem of the Gila River and the preclusive effect of the Globe Equity Decree. This is one of three related appeals filed by the United States, Gila River Indian Community, and the San Carlos Apache Tribe, and cross-petitions filed by Phelps Dodge Corporation and Salt River Project.

In re State Trust Lands Contested Case

This contested case is proceeding in both adjudications. Following a well attended status hearing, the Special Master set new times for filing motions for summary judgment, responses, and replies, requiring additional disclosures, allowing discovery, and scheduling oral argument. The new deadlines are posted on the Calendar.

On August 8, 2006, the Special Master denied the State of Arizona's request to amend its motion for partial summary judgment. The Special Master ruled that the proposed amendments would be futile.

Little Colorado River Adjudication

In re Proposed Zuni Indian Tribe Water Rights Settlement: The Arizona Department of Water Resources filed a technical assessment report on May 15, 2006, and a public presentation regarding the proposed settlement took place in St. Johns on June 1, 2006. Four claimants filed objections or comments to the report. The settling parties filed a consolidated response to those objections including a motion for summary disposition.

On August 18, 2006, the Court held a status conference in St. Johns. The Court addressed the status of the conditions that must be met before the Court can consider the settlement agreement and heard from the settling parties' attorneys and consultants, as well as from the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

The Court issued an order directing the objectors to respond to the settling parties' motion for summary disposition on or before September 25, 2006, and set a further status hearing on October 25, 2006, in Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Water Resources website has links to all of the settlement documents and to its technical assessment report. Go to www.azwater.gov/dwr, then to Hot Topics - Arizona Water Settlements - Zuni. Questions not answered by the website can be called to the department at 602-771-8472. Information about the proposed Gila River Indian Community and the Tohono O'odham Nation water rights settlements is also available on that page.

Status Hearing: Judge Eddward P. Ballinger, Jr., conducted a status hearing on May 12, 2006, in St. Johns. The Court heard the progress of settlement negotiations and of the Hopi Reservation Hydrographic Survey Report. Comments were offered concerning the issues that can be addressed by summary judgment.

Gila River Adjudication

In re Proposed Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement: The Court issued an order granting an application to commence a special proceeding to consider the proposed settlement of the claimed water rights of the Gila River Indian Community and the United States for the benefit of the Community. This special proceeding is subject to the Arizona Supreme Court's Special Procedural Order Providing for the Approval of Federal Water Rights Settlements, Including Those of Indian Tribes.

As directed by the Court, the Arizona Department of Water Resources filed a technical assessment report on August 23, 2006. All claimants in the Gila River Adjudication may file objections to the proposed settlement by October 10, 2006. Responses to objections are due by November 20, 2006. Public presentations regarding the proposed settlement will be held as follows: September 12, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in Phoenix; September 13, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in Casa Grande; and September 14, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in Safford. The locations of the presentations are available on the Calendar.

In re Proposed Tohono O'odham Nation Water Rights Settlement: The Court has issued an order granting an application to commence a special proceeding to consider the proposed settlement of the claimed water rights of the Tohono O'odham Nation, individual allottees, and the United States acting on behalf of the Nation and the allottees. The order directs the Arizona Department of Water Resources to prepare a factual analysis and/or technical assessment by October 24, 2006, and allows all claimants in the Gila River Adjudication to file objections to the proposed settlement by December 13, 2006. A public presentation regarding the proposed settlement will be held in Tucson on November 13, 2006, at the City of Tucson Mayor and Council Chambers. This proceeding is also subject to the Arizona Supreme Court's Special Procedural Order.

In re PWR 107 Claims: On May 5, 2006, the United States filed a memorandum concerning the location of springs relative to the southern boundary of the San Carlos Apache Reservation. The San Carlos Apache Tribe filed a response and the United States replied. On July 19, 2006, the Special Master issued an order staying the determination of sixteen federal reserved water rights and setting a schedule for the completion of fourteen other federal reserved water right claims. The Special Master determined that the Court does not have jurisdiction to resolve issues involving the location of the boundaries of an Indian reservation but could proceed with the fourteen claims not affected by boundary issues. The United States will withdraw ten other claims as part of this case.

In re Fort Huachuca: On July 5, 2006, the Special Master ruled on a discovery matter granting in part and denying in part the motion of the United States for a protective order from discovery requested by Phelps Dodge Corporation and the motion of Phelps Dodge to compel production of documents.

A briefing schedule to address four issues has been set in this case. The United States requested that the deadlines for filing motions, responses, and replies concerning the designated issues be extended sixty days. The Special Master granted the request.

In re San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (a contested case not yet initiated): The Salt River Project, the United States, and jointly the Bella Vista Water Company, Inc., Pueblo del Sol Water Company, and the City of Sierra Vista filed comments regarding the initiation of a contested case. This case would address the water right claims of the United States to the conservation area located in southeastern Arizona. The Special Master has set a telephonic conference on September 19, 2006, to consider initiating a contested case, setting a schedule to consider the pending motions to intervene and filing disclosure statements, reviewing the capacity of the Arizona Department of Water Resources to provide technical assistance, appointing a settlement committee, and hearing any other matters that should be considered at this time.

Salt River Project's Applications for Injunctive Relief Re Respondents Henry M. Shill and Don H. Shill dba Shield Ranch, Inc.: The Court granted Salt River Project's motion for summary judgment. The Court ruled that Salt River Project "has satisfied its burden and has demonstrated all requisites for issuance of a provisional remedy in the form of injunctive relief, including that Shield Ranch does not possess a colorable claim upon which it may assert a water right in this adjudication for the real property that is the subject of Salt River Project's motion."

Salt River Project's Applications for Injunctive Relief Re Respondents Kovacovich Investment Limited Partnership, Wiertzema Family Trust, and NBJ Ranch Limited Partnership: On August 22, 2006, the Court held a status hearing. The parties have exchanged information, the Salt River Project's technical consultant has investigated several wells located on these properties, and negotiations continue among these parties. The Court granted the parties' request to set a status hearing on March 7, 2007.

Other News
Funding Report: The Special Master filed a report concerning funding for the administrative assistance and technical support provided by the Arizona Department of Water Resources. The report describes the funding challenges facing the department and presents recommendations.

David A. Brown: Earlier this year, Dave Brown underwent surgery necessitated by an aneurysm. He has returned to his practice and has participated in recent court conferences.

Alexandra M. Arboleda, Charles L. Cahoy, and Thomas R. Wilmoth: These attorneys represented various clients in both adjudications after having worked at the Arizona Department of Water Resources. They continue their careers in other cities or directions. We wish them all the best in their new endeavors.

Calendar

Link here to the calendar of proceedings on the Special Master's web site.

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