Flash: Dutra Legal Costs mostly denied in Court today.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Today, Judge Chouteau denied most of Dutra's requests for reimbursement of
costs related to our case against the approvals of the Dutra Asphalt Plant
Dutra's attorneys, Les Perry and Derek Cole, along with Aimi Dutra and
political consultant Rob Muelrath, appeared in Judge Chouteau's courtoom
in Santa Rosa this morning to argue their claims for over $9900 in
allegedly reimbursable costs related to the trial and the preparation of
the case record.
The plaintiffs, including all of the community plaintiff groups and
individuals, and the City of Petaluma, were represented by Christina Caro,
of Lozeau/Drury LLP.
After vigorous arguments about what is, and what is not legally eligible
for reimbursement, Judge Chouteau decided that only $1649.46 of Dutra's
asserted costs were in fact legitimate under California law. The balance
of claims were denied. Judge Chouteau stated that Dutra was not entitled
to receive reimbursement for costs related to Dutra's attorneys' voluntary
review of the case record, which, at over 31,000 pages, was prepared at
the total effort and expense of the plaintiffs. He indicated that such
review was the responsibility of County Counsel, which could not, and did
not, delegate that review to Dutra.
County Counsel declined to file any motion for reimbursement of costs,
indicating that they did not have sufficient records to be able to
accurately assign any costs in the case.
We are pleased that Judge Chouteau saw through the improper and
unwarranted attempts by Dutra and their attorneys to try to get
reimbursements for their purported expenses. Our efforts to continue to
protect and defend the integrity of Petaluma's health, economy and
environment will continue to victory at the Court of Appeals over this
poorly planned and located project.
For further information, contact:
Petaluma River Council, 707/763-9336
Christina Caro, Lozeau/Drury LLP, 510/836-4200
Richard Drury, Lozeau/Drury LLP, 510/836-4200