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Full stay issued in Pahrump water order appeal

After issuing a temporary postponement earlier this month, the Nevada Supreme Court has now ordered that the district court ruling reversing Nevada State Engineer Order #1293A be stayed until the appeal filed by the engineer’s office has made its way through the system and a final determination is made.

“Appellant state engineer filed an emergency motion to stay the district court’s order pending appeal and we entered a temporary stay pending receipt and consideration of any opposition, which respondents (Pahrump Fair Water) have now filed. Having considered appellant’s motion and supporting documents, respondents’ opposition and appellants’ reply under the NRAP8 (Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure) factors, we conclude that the balance of harms weighs in favor of a stay,” the filing, signed off by Supreme Court Justices Jim Hardesty, Lidia Stiglich and Abbi Silver, states. “Accordingly, we grant appellant’s motion and stay enforcement of the district court’s Dec. 6 order granting judicial review and reversing state engineer Order #1293A, pending further order of this court.”

However, the ruling also included a stipulation that the hearing process be quickened, so the appeal does not linger in the courts for years to come.

“In light of the stay’s potential impact on respondents, however, we further conclude that this appeal should be expedited,” the document reads.

The court ordered the length of time provided to the state engineer’s office to prepare its case be shortened by more than two months, dictating that the state engineer’s opening brief be filed by Feb. 15 rather than April 23. This, at least, was one aspect of the ruling that Pahrump Fair Water was pleased to see.

“While we are disappointed with the issuance of the stay by the Nevada Supreme Court, we are encouraged by their recognition that the appeal should be expedited,” Dave Rigdon of Taggart and Taggart LTD, the firm representing Pahrump Fair Water, stated of the ruling.

“The court made clear that it will not tolerate any attempt to delay a final determination of this matter,” he continued. “The district court has already determined that the state engineer’s actions in this case clearly violated our members’ constitutional rights and that the state engineer does not have the power to regulate domestic wells in this manner. We believe that once the Nevada Supreme Court has had a full opportunity to review the record in this case, they will agree and Order #1293A will be overturned.”

This appeal is filed under case number 77722. All associated documents can be found by visiting www.nvcourts.gov

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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