Measure W: TRO granted, hearing set for Tuesday

NEVADA CITY, Calif. March 4, 2016 – Today, Nevada County Superior Court Judge B. Scott Thomsen granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Nevada County pertaining to Measure W. The ballot measure, slated for the June 7th primary election, deals with cosmetic changes to the county’s current marijuana cultivation land use ordinance.

The TRO is in effect until Tuesday, March 8 when the merits of a writ of mandate will be heard by the court. The order prevents the Elections Office from sending the ballot to their outside printer and Hart Election Systems for ballot layout. Nevada County was not planning on starting to print the ballots – the candidate filing period for local offices (supervisors etc) is still open until March 11, or March 15 if an incumbent does not run.

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The first order of business this morning was a peremptory challenge by Nevada County’s lawyers to remove the judge assigned to the case. This is a fairly routine request and Presiding Judge B. Scott Thomsen took over the hearing.

County Counsel’s staff also requested the hearing be postponed in order for them to prepare adequately.

Attorney Heather Burke, representing the plaintiff Forrest Hurd, argued the county’s assertion that granting a TRO would somehow impede the Election Office to get Measure W on the ballot means that “something is happening now.”

The request for continuance was denied.

Judge Thomsen emphasized that granting the TRO was by no means an indication on how the ruling on the merits would turn out. The hearing for the writ has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 8, at 8:30 am. The court indicated a decision will be made that same day, by mid-morning. The Nevada County BOS meets on Tuesday morning, starting at 9:00 am.