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NM Court of Appeals Schedules July 20, 10:00 AM Hearing

July 6, 2016 - Jen Laws

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The New Mexico Court of Appeals has scheduled a hearing at the Pamela B. Minzner Law Center on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. The oral argument is open to the public and begins at 10:00 A.M.

A three-judge panel will preside: Chief Judge Michael E. Vigil, Judge Timothy L. Garcia (’84), and Judge Linda M. Vanzi (’95).

Following are the details of the case:

CITY OF TUCUMCARI, Plaintiff-Appellee, represented by Randy Knudson

vs.

RAD WATER USERS COOPERATIVE, Defendant-Appellant, represented by Michael T. Garrett

RAD operates a rural water distribution and billing system in Quay County, New Mexico consisting of approximately 200 cooperative members and purchases water from the City of Tucumcari. In 1987 a dispute over water rates between the City and several rural water cooperatives, including RAD, was resolved by a Decision in Quay County Consolidated District Court Case No. D- 101 0-CV-86-00109 setting forth the criteria for the City to determine rate increases for the water cooperatives. On January 1,2010, the City and RAD entered into a ten-year Agreement for Sale and Purchase of Water which established a specific criteria for the City to determine rate increases, if any, for the purchase of water by RAD. On June 25, 2012 the City gave written notice to RAD of a water rate increase from $2.19 to $181 per 1,000 gallons beginning July 1,2012; the City later stipulated the rate increase would not be effective until September 2012. RAD disputed the figures replied upon by the City of Tucumcari and refused to pay the increase. The Court concluded that RAD had breached the Agreement and was delinquent in its payments to the City since August 25,2012; the City’s established rates for the calendar years 2012,2013 and 2014 are reasonable under all the circumstances, and RAD owes the City for the unpaid increases in outstanding water charges from August25, 2012 until the present, plus pre- and post-judgment interest thereon; and in light of the stipulation by RAD that the contract between the parties, and not the terms of the Stipulated Judgment controls, the City is free to calculate a reasonable water rate for RAD for future use, and is not restricted to the formula specified in Quay Cause CV-86-000109, nor the Agreement. This is an appeal of the Final Judgment entered in the Tenth Judicial District Court of Quay County, New Mexico, on February 5, 2015.

For more information, contact Nora Gonzales at 505-841-4618.