First major hearing in coal ban lawsuit: April 20, 2017

  • Michael Kaufman, No Coal in Oakland Photo: Brooke Anderson

Join No Coal in Oakland at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on the morning of April 20, 2017 to stand up for Oakland’s coal ban.

At 10:00 am on that day, Judge Vince Chhabria will hold the first important hearing in developer Phil Tagami’s attempt to overturn the City’s ban on coal storage and handling at the future West Gateway marine terminal, his lawsuit Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal LLC v. City of Oakland.

The Court will hear several motions at the hearing.

Of great importance to No Coal in Oakland is a motion by Sierra Club and San Francisco Baykeeper to be accepted as “intervenors” in the lawsuit. The environmental groups seek formal “intervenor” status so that they can participate as full parties in the courtroom effort to defeat Tagami’s lawsuit, thus helping the City defeat the lawsuit. Not surprisingly, Tagami’s lawyers have asked the Court to deny the motion.

Second, the Court has before it two motions to dismiss the lawsuit–one motion filed by the City of Oakland seeking dismissal of Tagami’s claim for breach of contract and a second motion filed by the Sierra Club and Baykeeper seeking dismissal of Tagami’s claim that his constitutional rights were violated by the City’s ban because it discriminated against out of state commercial interests and unduly burdened interstate commerce.

If the City’s and the environmental groups’ motions are granted, the case will be considerably narrowed, which makes it easier to defend.

This is a great opportunity to observe the Court in action and get insight into how the Court views the first major motions to defend the City’s ban on coal. The hearing may also shed light on whether the Court will allow the wide open discovery (depositions, document requests, etc.) that Tagami’s lawyers seek.

Judge Chhabria usually comes to Court with an idea how he intends to rule the motions before him which he then invites the parties to debate.

No Coal in Oakland will be there! We’ll be wearing red and we hope you will too (wear your red No Coal in Oakland t-shirt if you have one, but anything red will help to visually distinguish identify you as part of NCIO’s crew).

The hearing will be held at 10 am on April 20, 2017, at the United States Courthouse/Federal Building in San Francisco, at 450 Golden Gate Avenue — a few blocks from Civic Center BART.

Allow extra time for getting through security. Take an elevator to the 17th Floor, Courtroom 4.

Judge Chhabria will expect silence in his courtroom.

United States Courthouse/Federal Building
450 Golden Gate Avenue – Courtroom 4, 17th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

Civic Center BART

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