Mediation fails in 2 lawsuits so HISID headed to court

Friday, December 21, 2012

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- HISID attorney Matt Bishop turned out to be wrong when he petitioned the Western District Court in November for formal mediation in the matter of two lawsuits against HISID. After a first failed attempt at informal settlement in October, he wrote to Judge G. Kent Crow that a "trained mediator is typically able to overcome" the squabbles that prevented settlement the first time.

District Manager Gerald Hartley reported at Wednesday's Board of Commissioners meeting that the second attempt had also failed earlier this week.

"We could not reach similar terms in either of those matters. It's my impression both suits will proceed," he said.

The two lawsuits are Table Rock Landing Time Share Owners Association v. HISID and HIDC, and David Bischoff v. HISID. Both have to do with assessments and with the 2011 Assessment of Benefits, which the district used as a basis to change assessment rates to all property owners. The new rates increased assessments on developed lots and decreased them on undeveloped lots. The suits challenge the fairness of the assessments and the legality of the AOB process. The TRL suit is requesting an award of $1.9 million.

Hartley reported the mediation took all day, from about 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

"I think that everybody who came there, we did our best for all parties to be able to resolve those matters, and on occasion I thought we got close," he said.

He has not received information about court scheduling, he added, and will await input from the attorney.

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