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|The Court Meets with Director Guenther|
On April 24, 2007, the Court and the Special Master met with Mr. Herb Guenther, Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources and several employees who work on adjudication matters. Matters discussed were the Department's expectations for future funding for the adjudications, ADWR's plans to increase its adjudications staff, the status of current technical projects, and future schedules. The outlooks for significant future funding and additional technical staff for the adjudications are very positive.
Partially prompting this meeting, requested by Director Guenther, was ADWR's assessment (under Adjudications) of its resources currently devoted to adjudications tasks, along with an estimate of additional resources that may be needed in the future.
As part of our office's relocation, the Special Master's Website will be incorporated within the Maricopa County Superior Court's Internet site. Our site will have a different look and a new Internet address. This is the best way to maintain a quality site, conveniently update it, and resolve technical and security issues. During the transition, the existing site will be updated, and users will not see any difference.
We welcome any suggestions you have to improve our Internet presence. We thank every one who responded to our recent questionnaire with positive comments and excellent suggestions.
|Gila River Adjudication Monthly Dockets|
The Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court has made available on its Website the monthly dockets it prepares for the Gila River Adjudication in accordance with Pre-Trial Order Number 1 (see Paragraph 5B). The dockets that are available online begin with the year 2001. For access to dockets prior to 2001, please contact the Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court. Claimants who wish to purchase a monthly copy of the W1, W2, W3, and W4 (Consolidated) dockets can do so by ordering an annual subscription for $12.00 from Ms. Kathleen Donoghue at the Arizona Department of Water Resources (telephone 602-771-8472).
The Special Master has held discussions with the Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court regarding the integration of the court records of the Gila River Adjudication within the Clerk's electronic docket system. The first step of referring the project to a business analyst has been taken. The system known as "integrated Court Information System ('iCIS')" will facilitate external access to scanned documents and e-filing. This is a long-term project which will require much planning, but the results would be very useful. The Clerk of the Apache County Superior Court already provides public access to scanned court records of the Little Colorado River Adjudication.
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: On January 8, 2007, the United States Supreme Court denied the petitions of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and Phelps Dodge Corporation to review the Arizona Supreme Court's decision in this interlocutory appeal. These parties 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. This is one of three related interlocutory 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. The other two appeals are pending before the Arizona Supreme Court.
In re Subflow Technical Report, San Pedro River Watershed, Interlocutory Appeal WC-05-0001-IR (Contested Case No. W1-103), Gila River Adjudication: On April 26, 2007, the Arizona Supreme Court issued an order designating Chief Judge A. John Pelander of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division Two, to sit for Justice W. Scott Bales who is unable to participate in the argument or decision of this appeal.
In re Proposed Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement: At press time, both the Lower Gila Water Users and the Apache Tribes had filed petitions in the Arizona Supreme Court for interlocutory review of the Superior Court's January 23, 2007, and March 7, 2007, orders. These parties filed requests for a stay of the current proceedings. The Arizona Supreme Court will consider the requests for stay during its conference on May 22, 2007. The Supreme Court also issued an order designating Chief Judge A. John Pelander of the Arizona Court of Appeals to sit for Justice W. Scott Bales who is unable to participate in the argument or decision of these appeals. The Clerk of the Supreme Court has assigned docket number WC-07-0001-IR to both interlocutory appeals.
The Special Master provides this information to explain the preparation of Court approved mailing lists but it is not intended to give legal advice.
A Court approved mailing list (CAML) is the official list of persons recognized by the Superior Court or the Special Master as participating in a particular case. The list includes the litigants and persons participating as amici curiae ("friends of the court"). The use of a CAML was established by Pretrial Order No. 1 (May 29, 1986, in the Gila River Adjudication; April 24, 1987, in the Little Colorado River Adjudication). The concept that proper notice is given by means of a CAML and docket subscription was upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court in 1992.
Ms. Kathleen Donoghue of the Arizona Department of Water Resources prepares the CAMLs for the Gila River Adjudication and the Little Colorado River Adjudication. Ms. Dana M. Slatalla of our office prepares the CAMLs for individual contested cases.
A claimant must file a motion with the Adjudication Superior Court to request placement on or removal from the Gila or Little Colorado CAML. A copy of the motion must be provided to all persons who currently appear on that CAML.
Individual contested cases organized by the Special Master have a slightly different procedure. When a contested case is commenced, the Special Master sends notice to those involved in the case: the claimant(s), landowner(s), lessee(s), objectors, and if known, their legal counsel. Notice is also sent to the Gila or Little Colorado CAML depending in which adjudication the contested case is being heard. The claimant(s), landowner(s), lessee(s), objectors, and their attorneys comprise the initial CAML of the contested case. Other claimants can request to be added to the CAML. The request is directed to the Special Master, and copies must be provided to all persons who currently appear on the CAML of the contested case.
A change of address or the substitution of legal counsel within the same law firm or corporate in-house counsel can be accomplished by a notice to all persons on the current CAML. Substitution by a new law firm or outside corporate counsel requires a motion directed to the Adjudication Superior Court or, in a contested case, to the Special Master.
When there are requests for a number of changes to the main Gila and Little Colorado lists, ADWR and the Special Master confer and agree on a date for publication of updated lists. Because there are several lists, we have determined there is less likelihood for confusion if we date and publish all lists at the same time. If appropriate, a CAML is sometimes noted as having been "revised." ADWR distributes the updated Gila and Little Colorado lists to all persons on those CAMLs, and the Special Master posts those lists and the ones for the individual contested cases on the Special Master's Website.
|Gila River Adjudication|
In re Proposed Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement: The Court issued rulings on the objections to the proposed settlement that were filed in this special proceeding. The orders, which can be found in the Gila River Adjudication page of the Special Master's Website under the heading of this special proceeding, were entered on:
January 23, 2007 (extent of Court's inquiry and jurisdiction over sources of water)
February 7, 2007 (several individual objectors)
February 23, 2007 (Navajo Nation)
February 26, 2007 (ASARCO), and
March 7, 2007 (Apache Tribes and Lower Gila Water Users).
The Court ordered the settling parties to file a report by May 9, 2007, describing the service and publication of the notice of proposed settlement.
On April 26, 2007, the Court held a telephonic conference to discuss the resolution of the remaining issues raised by some of the objections and set a schedule for a hearing.
In re Proposed Tohono O'odham Nation Water Rights Settlement: The Court issued a Scheduling Order for determining the Settling Parties' motions for summary disposition. The motions address objections to the proposed settlement filed by ten objectors. On April 27, 2007, the Court held a hearing on the motions. At press time, a written ruling had not filed.
The Court ordered the Settling Parties to file by May 9, 2007, a report describing the service and publication of the notice of proposed settlement.
The Court issued a ruling that the provisions of the Arizona Supreme Court's 1991 Special Procedural Order "shall govern the Court's consideration of the request to approve" this proposed settlement agreement.
In re PWR 107 Claims: The Special Master granted the request of the Arizona Department of Water Resources for additional time to file its recommendations and directed the United States to file the proposed executed stipulations and abstracts of water rights with the Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court. On April 12, 2007, ADWR filed its report and recommendations regarding the proposed stipulations and abstracts of water rights.
In re Fort Huachuca: On January 30, 2007, the Special Master postponed the briefing schedule and set a telephonic conference on March 20, 2007. The briefing schedule that has been set to address four issues was postponed in order to allow the parties time to meet and review potential legislation during their continuing meetings.
On March 20, 2007, the parties reported on the status of the legislation and an anticipated outcome of discussions. The parties indicated that the previously postponed briefing schedule could be reset and requested that a further telephonic conference be held prior to the commencement of the new briefing schedule. On March 29, 2007, the Special Master issued an order setting a telephonic status conference on May 11, 2007, and resetting the briefing schedule with new deadlines for the filing of motions, responses, and replies.
In re San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area: The Special Master granted motions to intervene, removed claimants from the mailing list, facilitated participation in discussion meetings, invited parties to file motions on legal issues, and set a telephonic conference on March 20, 2007.
Following that conference, the Special Master issued an order setting a telephonic status conference on May 11, 2007, and requesting the submission of issues for consideration. The Special Master wants to consider substantive legal issues that can be resolved by briefing and whose determinations will be helpful to the parties' efforts to settle this contested case as well as expedite the technical investigations of the Arizona Department of Water Resources.
Salt River Project's Applications for Injunctive Relief Re Respondents Henry M. Shill and Don H. Shill dba Shield Ranch, Inc.: On March 7, 2007, the Court signed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Injunction against Henry M. Shill and Don H. Shill dba Shield Ranch, Inc. relating to water use on 28 acres of land in the Verde River Watershed. Previously, the Court had granted the Salt River Project's motion for summary judgment.
Link here to the calendar of proceedings on the Special Master's web site.Adobe® Reader®