June 05--Ontario is headed back to court Thursday, asking a Riverside Superior Court judge to require Los Angeles to hand over documents pertaining to its case seeking control of L.A./Ontario International Airport.
In May, Ontario filed a 128-page document requesting that the court pressure Los Angeles to provide information it requested on the case last summer, said Andre Cronthall, attorney for Ontario.
"The city of Los Angeles and Ontario long, long ago agreed we'd provide electronic documents," he said. "It has taken forever to get the electronic documents from (LA)."
Los Angeles World Airports, which also operates Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys Airport, is a department of the city of Los Angeles.
Ontario filed a lawsuit in June 2013 against the city of Los Angeles and LAWA aiming to rescind or reform the terms of the 1967 agreement that gave control of the airport to L.A.
The suit seemed to put previous discussions about transferring control of the airport on an indefinite hold. In December, both sides agreed to put the lawsuit on hold while a deal was negotiated to turn over control to Ontario. The stay lapsed on Jan. 31, without an agreement, paving the way for the lawsuit to proceed.
Since then, the two sides have resumed discussions about a possible agreement, said Ontario City Manager Al Boling.
"We continue discussions with Los Angeles," he said, but declined to provide further details.
At Thursday's hearing, Ontario is seeking to obtain several documents.
Requests for those documents were made in the fall. The filing indicates Ontario made numerous attempts this year to request the documents from Los Angeles.
In March, Los Angeles provided several documents but not everything that was requested.
The case is currently in the discovery process, which is scheduled to end on June 30, Cronthall said.
Cronthall said he expects Judge Gloria Connor Trask to extend the discovery process, given the lack of progress.
"We're not anywhere close to being finished," he said.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Freuer could not be reached for comment.
Los Angeles filed a motion claiming Ontario is "stonewalling," and has not been forthcoming with its responses. Records show Steven Rosenthal, the attorney representing Los Angeles in the case, filed the 10-page motion.
"Instead of complying with its obligations under the Discovery Act, Ontario has responded to all twelve interrogatories with an identical six-page response for each, which is cut and pasted from Ontario's Complaint and which provides no meaningful response to the questions posed," Rosenthal said, according to court records.
According to the city of Los Angeles, Ontario has failed to demonstrate how Los Angeles World Airports has caused it any damage.
Among the inquiries made by Los Angeles is an explanation made by Ontario that the alleged mismanagement of the facility has resulted in a $540 million economic loss to the region and the loss of 10,000 jobs
Both sides were expected to be back in court on Friday to get a status update on negotiations. The date has been pushed back to September, Cronthall said.
Copyright 2014 - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Calif.