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Merced Irrigation Dist. v. County of Mariposa

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 23, 2013

MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT, a California Irrigation District, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF MARIPOSA, a political subdivision of the State of California, Defendant

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Merced Irrigation District, a California irrigation district, Plaintiff: Abigail C. Briggerman, PHV, John P. Coyle, PHV, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Duncan and Allen, Washington, DC; Jolie-Anne S. Ansley, Thomas M. Berliner, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Duane Morris LLP, San Francisco, CA.

For County of Mariposa, a political subdivision of the State of California, Defendant: John P. Kinsey, LEAD ATTORNEY, Oliver W. Wanger, Wanger Jones Helsley PC, Fresno, CA; Steven W. Dahlem, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Steven W. Dahlem, Mariposa, CA.

For Merced Irrigation District, Counter Defendant: Abigail C. Briggerman, PHV, John P. Coyle, PHV, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Duncan and Allen, Washington, DC; Jolie-Anne S. Ansley, Thomas M. Berliner, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Duane Morris LLP, San Francisco, CA.

For County of Mariposa, Counter Claimant: John P. Kinsey, LEAD ATTORNEY, Oliver W. Wanger, Wanger Jones Helsley PC, Fresno, CA; Steven W. Dahlem, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Steven W. Dahlem, Mariposa, CA.

OPINION

Lawrence J. O'Neill, United States District Judge.

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ORDER ADOPTING THE MARCH 4, 2013, FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

(Doc. 27)

ORDER GRANTING MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT'S MOTION TO REMAND

(Doc. 13)

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Merced Irrigation District (" MID" ) filed a declaratory relief action against the County of Mariposa (" Mariposa" ) in Merced County Superior Court on September 5, 2012. On October 5, 2012, Mariposa removed Plaintiff's declaratory relief action to this Court. (Doc. 1.) On November 2, 2012, MID filed a motion to remand the action to Merced County Superior Court. (Doc. 13.) Mariposa filed a brief in opposition to MID's motion on December 5, 2012, and MID filed a reply brief on December 12, 2012. On December 18, 2012, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto ordered the parties to submit additional briefing. On January 4, 2013, Mariposa filed a supplemental brief and on January 15, 2013, MID filed a supplemental brief. (Docs. 24, 25.)

On March 4, 2013, the Magistrate Judge issued Findings and Recommendations (" F& Rs" ) recommending that MID's motion to remand be granted. (Doc. 27.) The parties each filed objections to the F& Rs on March 28, 2013 (Docs. 33, 34), and each filed responses to the other's objections on April 11, 2013 (Docs. 36, 37).

In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(C), this Court has conducted a de novo review of the case. Having

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carefully reviewed the entire file, the Court concludes that the Magistrate Judge's F& Rs are supported by the record and proper analysis; for the reasons set forth below, the March 4, 2013, F& Rs are ADOPTED, MID's motion to remand is GRANTED, and the case shall be remanded to the Merced County Superior Court.

II. DISCUSSION[1]

A. MID's Objections

MID objects to the portions of the F& Rs that determined MID's complaint fairly anticipated state law claims for anticipatory breach and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. MID argues that the only claim anticipated by its complaint is one for breach of contract relevant to the payment provisions under Paragraph 3 of the 1960 Agreement. [2] The hypothetical state law causes of action posed by Mariposa " could only arise as a counterclaim or rejoinder by [Mariposa], premised on the affirmative defenses set up by the District's complaint for declaratory relief." (Doc. 33, 2:17-20.) As it pertains to a claim for anticipatory breach of Paragraph 4 of the parties' 1960 Agreement, MID has not opposed any application by Mariposa to the State Water Resources Control Board. Moreover, MID contends that there is no actual repudiation ...


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