23ABC News has obtained court documents that show the City of Bakersfield is taking legal action against residents in the Westchester community over the long and bitter court battle related to the environmental impact report and the 24th Street widening project.
According to the court motion, the City of Bakersfield is seeking money from 10 residents and may try to recover more than $20,000 dollars in court fees. The motion says Westchester residents formed a non-profit called ‘Citizens Against the 24th Street Widening Project’ but according to the motion, the non-profit was not valid.
The City of Bakersfield cites a legal finding that a court has authority, “under code of civil procedure section 187 and California Corporations Code Section 18630” to add names to the motion, and thus recover court fees from each individual resident associated with the non-profit.
City Councilman Andrae Gonzales, who represents Ward 2 and the residents of Westchester declined to go on record about the court proceedings and directed questions to the City Attorney’s Office.
Deputy City Attorney Andrew Heglund responded to criticism that this motion is retaliation against residents. He says the action isn't retaliatory; the City is following the recommendation of the judge.
A Kern County judge has allowed the motion to be heard and the hearing is set to be heard in Superior Court on August 18th at 3:00 p.m.