Fighting For Residents Of California Everyday

Fighting For Residents Of California Everyday

Our Successes

Partners Eric J. Benink and Vincent D. Slavens have been representing ratepayers and taxpayers since 2006 when they filed a class action lawsuit against the city of San Diego alleging inequitable sewer fees that violate our State Constitution. That suit resulted in $40 million being recovered on behalf of residential sewer service ratepayers. Since that time, they have prosecuted dozens of cases against cities, towns, and special districts across the state.

Some of the cases they have prosecuted or are currently prosecuting include:

Eck v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC557082 (co-lead counsel in class action securing $52 million in electric ratepayer refunds and $243 million in injunctive relief);

Green v. City of Palo Alto, Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case No. 16CV300760 (obtained court ruling that gas utility fees are unconstitutional taxes and ruling for refunds; case is pending);

Komesar v. City of Pasadena, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC677632 (class action alleging City’s electric rates are unconstitutional taxes);

Palmer v. City of Anaheim, Orange County Superior Court, Case No. 30-2017-00938646 (class action alleging City’s electric rates are unconstitutional taxes);

Parada v. City of Riverside, Riverside Superior Court, Case No. RIC 1818642 (class action alleging City’s electric rates are unconstitutional taxes);

Wyatt v. City of Sacramento, Sacramento Superior Court, Case No. 34-2017-80002634 (obtained judgment invalidating unconstitutionally excessive utility fees and charges; appeal pending)

Milo v. Coachella Valley Water District, Riverside Superior Court, Case No. PSC1600403 (class action obtaining $2 million in water fee credits based on violations of Prop. 218);

Glendale Coalition for Better Government v. City of Glendale, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BS153253 (obtained writ of mandate invalidating portion of City’s water rate structure for violation of Prop. 218);

Hobbs, et al. v. Modesto, Stanislaus Superior Court Case No. 2019186 (obtained court ruling that district’s electric rates are unconstitutional taxes; case is pending);

Mahon, et al. v. City of San Diego, San Diego Superior Court Case No. 37-2015-00014540 (appointed co-lead counsel in class action alleging illegal taxes disguised as electric franchise fees; appeal pending);

Lejins v. City of Long Beach, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BS165724 (settlement providing $12 million in return of transfers of water and sewer fees from City’s general fund);

Lejins v. City of Long Beach, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. 18STCP02628 (obtained judgment that general tax on sewer and water customers is unconstitutional; appeal pending);

Starr v. City of Oxnard, Ventura County Superior Court Case No. 2017-00494475 (challenging transfers of “Infrastructure Use Fees” from utility funds to General Fund);

Wolstoncroft, et. al. v. County of Yolo (Yolo County Superior Court Case No. CVPT20181854 (challenging imposition of water fees to fund costs of connecting to municipal water supplier);

Lopez-Burton v. Town of Apple Valley, San Bernardino Superior Court Case No. DIVDS1725027 (challenging solid waste fees that embed “franchise fees” (settlement recovering $3.15 million));

Rooney v. City of Pasadena, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BS145352 (challenging transfers to City’s general fund (settlement restoring $7.2 million));

Moreno v. City of Riverside, Riverside Superior Court Case No. RCI 1210249 (challenging water fee transfers to City’s general fund (settlement restoring $10 million));

Spencer v. City of Burbank, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BS145021 (challenging transfers to City’s general fund (settlement restoring $1.5 million));

Jackson, et al. v. City of Lincoln, Placer County Superior Court, Case No. SCV0039384 (settlement restoring over $1 million to water rate customers);

Spencer v. City of Burbank, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BS162779 (obtained writ of mandate ordering City to cease imposition of 6.5% surcharge embedded in electric rates);

Sacramento Taxpayers Assoc. v. Carmichael Park District, Sacramento Superior Court, Case No. 2014-80001869 (successfully invalidating property assessments);

Monroe v. City of Sacramento, Sacramento Superior Court, Case No. 2018-00243701 (invalidated property and business improvement district assessments);

Horizon Capital Investments, et al. v. City of Sacramento, Sacramento Superior Court, Case No. 2017-80002661 (invalidated Mello-Roos special tax to fund streetcar operations); and

Pearson v. Rodeo Hercules Fire Protection Dist., Contra Costa Superior Court Case No. MSN14-1137 (successfully challenging legality of fire assessments).

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