Old 06-13-18, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
I'm not nearly as aware of the conditions on the easy side of The Mountain but I've been following this issue as long as anyone.
  • Legally though, and without making any comments about the merits of the case: the District is the defendant; and Bike East Bay et al are just sort of witnesses or concerned parties providing evidence and testimony - is that right?
The plaintiffs are four sets of property owners along Calle Arroyo. The original defendants were the Diablo Community Services District and the remaining property owners along Calle Arroyo. Bike East Bay has asked, and the Court has permitted them, to intervene as a defendant. This happened about a week ago. Bike East Bay is now more that a witness or interested by-stander; it is a party to the actual lawsuit. It's as if they had been sued in the first place. (In non-legal terms, its called "putting your money where your mouth is.")
  • This is listed as a "complaint" - is that a subset of "suit" or is it different from a suit somehow?
The "Complaint" is the document that starts the lawsuit. It is what lays out what it is the plaintiffs are complaining about and what they want.
  • Would it be normal for the defendants/ DCSD to file a response to a complaint like this with counter "Prayers for Damages" and causes of action? An example might be that they could require the complainants to stop putting up private property signs and such if the judge rules against the complaint? Or are they limited to just responding to the actual items in the complaint? I'm assuming they wouldn't want to counter-sue (if that's really a thing).
Yes, it is normal for DCSD to file an Answer, and they have done so. It looks like the other property owner defendants did not file answers; if it has not happened already, defaults will be entered against them, which means they cannot contest the suit. I'm not surprised they would not, because it really is no skin off their noses no matter how the suit comes out. .The lawsuit really is not about the other Calle Arroyo property owners; they were added for technical legal reasons not worth going into here.

I do not know what relief DCSD asked for, because Contra Costa Superior's on-line system lets you see a description of what was filed but, unlike some other courts, does not let you download copies of what was filed. Without having seen it, I can pretty much guarantee that the Answer asks that the Plaintiffs be denied any relief of any kind and that DCSD recovers its costs (a statutory term of art that usually does not include attorney fees; if there is a basis for either side to recover attorney fees if they win, I haven't seen it). I doubt if they asked for any other relief, but I can't be certain.

Yes, counter-suing is a thing - it happens all the time - and a Cross-Complaint is the document you file to do it. I did not see anything in the on-line record to suggest DCSD or anyone else has filed a Cross-Complaint.
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