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Santa Rosa to appeal ruling over pathway easement

Santa Rosa will ask an appellate court to reconsider nearly $40,000 in fines it levied against the city for what it said were frivolous legal filings.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized the city attorney to ask the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco for a new hearing on the issue.

The city last month lost its appeal of Superior Court Judge Elliot Daum's 2011 ruling against the city in its lawsuit over a disputed easement through a gated community near Oakmont.

The city had asked Daum to throw out a counter-suit filed by the Villages at Wild Oak Association, but the judge refused. The city appealed, but the higher court upheld Daum's ruling, chastising the city for its "repeated pattern of ignoring or misrepresenting relevant authority."

In rare move, the court ordered the city to pay the association's $39,810 in legal fees as a sanction.


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