Mesquite, NV. Barbara Ellestad, “reporting” for Battle Born Media (BBM) got it wrong again when on Sept 5th she wrote about an “abuse of process,” claim included in an amended complaint in the law suit by Paradise Canyon dba Wolf Creek Golf Course against the Virgin Valley Water District (VVWD).
She wants the public to think that the abuse of process argument concerns allegations by Paradise Canyon attorneys that the water board has publicly disclosed information about the case. She goes on to argue that the abuse of process claims lack merit because the water board only released documents that were public record. Let’s again set the record straight.
Actually, their concern about public disclosure is directed at Ellestad as a reporter for Battle Born Media’s (BBM) Mesquite Local News (MLN).
Ellestad is confusing two distinct issues brought to the court’s attention by the attorneys for Paradise Canyon. The first was a request for a summary judgement initiated by the attorneys after they deposed VVWD Manager Kevin Brown and Mesquite Irrigation Company (MIC) President Kelby Hughes.
Paradise Canyon attorneys argued to the court that the depositions go against statements made to the court by VVWD attorney Jedidiah (Bo) Bingham. Therefore, they asked the court to declare a summary judgement in the case, and:
- Not consider rates paid by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) to lease the Mesquite Irrigation Company (MIC) irrigation water under the Bureau of Reclamation Intentionally Created Surplus (ICS) program, and:
- Declare a fair market rent for Paradise Canyon leased water shares necessary to irrigate the Wolf Creek Golf Course;
The Judge denied that request in favor of a future jury trial.
The abuse of process claim was included in a motion by the attorneys to amend their original complaint against the VVWD based upon Bingham’s use of “unsupported evidence” he included in a counterclaim against the Paradise Canyon action. Therefore, the attorneys asked the court for permission to alter their original complaint, and:
- Add a claim of Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing arising out of VVWD’s recent demand (to alter irrigation rates from the original complaint), and:
- Add a claim of Abuse of Process arising out of Bingham’s filing of a Counterclaim for breach of contract that is totally unsupported by admissible evidence.
On June 13, the Judge granted Paradise Canyon’s request to amend their complaint.
Bingham doesn’t like the wording in the amended complaint. And it may be just a coincidence that Ellestad has come to his defense. Her Sept 5th article is clearly attempting to deflect the public’s opinion away from Brown’s and Hughes’ contradictions of Bingham allegations in the case. And she is attempting to protect Bingham from the public knowledge that it was his questionable allegations in his counterclaim that caused the attorneys for Paradise Canyon to amend their complaint.
The court will hear Bingham’s request to strike certain phrases in the amended document at 9:30 a.m. Sept 25.