For the second time in about five months a judge has ruled against a Palm Desert attorney who continues to allege that “illegal” money is being used to build CV Link, a 50-mile multi-modal pathway across the Coachella Valley for pedestrians, cyclists and low-speed electric vehicles such as golf carts. This time, his appeal was dismissed.
On Tuesday, July 10, the Fourth District Appellate Court dismissed Jim Ferguson’s appeal. The court record notes that the case information statement was not filed, and that the appeal was dismissed for failure to timely designate the record with the Superior Court and for failure to timely deposit costs for preparation of the court record.
Ferguson quietly filed the appeal and declined to speak about it.
Ferguson filed the initial lawsuit in October 2017 only to have a Riverside County Superior Court Judge toss it out in March. Riverside County Superior Court Judge James Latting sustained the arguments raised by the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, (CVAG), the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the Riverside County Transportation Commission.
Ferguson’s lawsuit challenged three sources of funding for CV Link. They were rebutted by a comprehensive legal opinion that CVAG secured. The ruling was a sucker punch to both Ferguson and former Mayor G. Dana Hobart who wholeheartedly supported Ferguson’s effort.
The leadership of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) had long said the appeal had no merit and questioned whether it was filed in a timely manner.
Ferguson will have six months to file a motion to vacate the dismissal, but he would have to show “good cause.” Should he pursue this route, he’d have to explain why he missed the court’s deadlines and didn’t pay the required fees.
The first 2.3 miles of CV Link, between Vista Chino Road in Palm Springs and Ramon Road in Cathedral City, officially opened on Feb. 23 and is already well-used for active transportation and golf carts alike. The next segment, near Demuth Park in Palm Springs, is expected to be under construction this summer.
CVAG earlier this year announced additional funding for the project, which now has about $100 million secured.