A judge on Monday ruled in favor of the city of Tulare by rejecting a request by advocates to throw out the city’s lawsuit against two entities representing Matheny, an unincorporated community south of Tulare.
Tulare County Superior Court Judge Melinda Reed also said Monday that “as a matter of law” she cannot rule on the agreement by Tulare to supply water to Matheny because the facts are in dispute.
A new water line was laid from Tulare to the Matheny Tract about two years ago due to arsenic in Matheny’s water, but no water has flowed.
In June, the city sued Pratt Mutual, which currently supplies water to the community, the Matheny Tract Committee and Tulare County, seeking a ruling on the jurisdictional issues the city said it faces in supplying the water. Tulare has suggested supplying water wholesale to Pratt Mutual rather than combining water systems.
The Matheny Tract Committee and Pratt could appeal Reed’s ruling. Otherwise, each has 10 days to reply to the city’s lawsuit. Meanwhile, the two entities are seeking a court order that water be delivered.