Santa Clara Wins One Legal Fight with San Jose
By Robert Haugh
The Mission City beat the Garden City. It’s just one small legal battle, but it’s a nice victory for Santa Clara. It’s like when the underdog 1-2-3 Kid defeated Razor Ramon.
Mercury News reporter Ramona Giwargis wrote about the victory in the battle over the Santana West development near Santana Row.
“San Jose sought to dismiss the case because Santa Clara didn’t fill out a required form that asks the San Jose City Council to reconsider its approval of the project’s environmental report. San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Marie S. Wiener denied San Jose’s request and the case continues.”
They tried to dismiss the case because of a blank form? Sounds weak. Apparently, it was.
Later in the story, Giwargis reports that San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle “also filed an anti-SLAPP motion against Santa Clara, saying it attempted to chill San Jose’s ability to exercise its First Amendment rights by filing a ‘retaliatory’ lawsuit.”
I’m not a lawyer, but I have recent personal experience with with winning an anti-SLAPP motion and know a lot about it.
I don’t see how San Jose wins with anti-SLAPP. This is about development, not the First Amendment.
If San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle thinks this is a good strategy and he loses again, he should be replaced. Maybe Interim Santa Clara City Attorney Brian Doyle (no relation) could be the City Attorney for both cities. That way they won’t have to change the nameplates on the office door.
By the way, the “retaliatory” lawsuit mentioned in the story is a suggestion that Santa Clara sued San Jose in retaliation for San Jose suing Santa Clara about the CityPlace development. Giwargis also reported how San Jose started this “border war” last year.
Local government people in Santa Clara and other neighboring cities tell me that San Jose has a terrible record when it comes to winning lawsuits. Let’s hope they don’t get better.