Federal judge grants stay in water transport lawsuit, temporarily reversing Siskiyou County ordinances

Water transport ordinances are no longer in effect in Siskiyou county following a stay, granted by a federal judge in California.

Posted: Sep 10, 2021 5:07 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2021 5:32 PM

BIG SPRINGS, Calif. – A federal judge in California has granted a stay in the lawsuit filed by the Hmong community in Siskiyou County.

Multiple Hmong community members sued the county following ordinances issued in May that prohibited the transportation of water on certain county roads surrounding the Mt. Shasta Vista subdivision, which is a predominately Asian community.

The court-ordered stay allows for transportation of water needed for survival while the lawsuit moves forward. Water transport for illegal marijuana is still prohibited under the court order.

NewsWatch 12 reached out to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s office for comment but our request was not immediately returned.

This is the latest development in ongoing tension between those that live in the Mt. Shasta Vista Subdivision and county law enforcement.

According to the lawsuit, the Hmong community claims the ordinances show racial bias and are an overreach.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s office has maintained that the ordinances have nothing to do with race and are necessary in response to an increase in violent crime in the area and an increase in illegal marijuana grows that are illegally using the limited water the county has.

In her ruling, Chief U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller stated, “The plaintiffs, who are members of this community, have raised serious questions about the merits of their claim that the ordinances are motivated by racial animus. They have also shown that without an injunction, they will not have water to meet their basic needs.” Judge Mueller says that because of this, the motion for a preliminary injunction is granted.

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