City of Fresno v. State of California, No. 51

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtCLARK
Citation10 L.Ed.2d 28,372 U.S. 627,83 S.Ct. 996
PartiesCITY OF FRESNO, Petitioner, v. STATE OF CALIFORNIA, United States of America, et al
Docket NumberNo. 51
Decision Date15 April 1963

372 U.S. 627
83 S.Ct. 996
10 L.Ed.2d 28
CITY OF FRESNO, Petitioner,

v.

STATE OF CALIFORNIA, United States of America, et al.

No. 51.
Argued Jan. 7, 1963.
Decided April 15, 1963.

Page 628

Claude L. Rowe, Fresno, Cal., for petitioner.

Sol. Gen. Archibald Cox for respondents.

Mr. Justice CLARK delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case arises out of Dugan v. Rank, 371 U.S. 609, 83 S.Ct. 999. As set out in our opinion in that case the original suit was instituted against certain local United States Reclamation Bureau officials and several Irrigation and Utility Districts by a number of claimants to water rights along the San Joaquin River below Friant Dam. Subsequently the United States, over its protest, was made a party and the petitioner here, the City of Fresno, intervened as a party plaintiff. Fresno sought, in addition to the injunctive relief requested by the other parties, a declaration as to (1) its water rights as an overlying owner, i.e., rights to underground water fed by the river; (2) its statutory priority, under California law, to the use of water for municipal or domestic purposes, Calif. Water Code, § 1460; (3) its prior right, under the California County of Origin and Watershed Acts, because of its location, Calif. Water Code, §§ 11460, 11463; and (4) its

Page 629

entitlement to project water from the United States at the same rate charged for water delivered for irrigation purposes. In the District Court Fresno prevailed on all points. In the Court of Appeals this judgment was set aside 'insofar as it relates to the terms upon which the City of Fresno is entitled to receive water from the United States at Friant Dam,' 293 F.2d 340, 360, because in establishing the rate at which water would be delivered the respondent officials were acting 'within the scope of their statutory authority and were carrying out the duties imposed upon them by their official positions. * * * The complaint of Fresno in this regard is a complaint against the United States and this dispute may not be entertained judicially without a waiver of sovereign immunity on the part of the United States.' Id., at 352. With regard to the claim that it enjoyed water rights superior to those of the United States, the Court of Appeals refused to decide, saying on rehearing that '(I)f and when such rights have been established in accordance with state law, Fresno may be able effectively to protest the impounding of waters by these defendants in contravention of such rights.' Id., at 360.

Our opinion in Dugan v. Rank, supra, controls the decision in this case. There we decided that the suit against the United States must fail for lack of consent; that the relief against the Reclamation Bureau officials must also fail as being in truth against the United States; that the United States had seized, in whole or in part, the water rights asserted by the claimants; and that their recourse was through a Tucker Act suit. 28 U.S.C. § 1346. The same is true here.

We agree entirely with the disposition of the Court of Appeals. Petitioner seems to say that § 8 of the Reclamation Act of 1902, 32 Stat. 390, 43 U.S.C. § 383, requires compliance with California statutes relating to preferential rights of counties and watersheds of origin and to the

Page 630

priority of domestic over irrigation uses. However, § 8 does not mean that state law may operate to prevent the United...

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47 practice notes
  • City of Santa Clara, Cal. v. Kleppe, No. C-75-1574.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • July 23, 1976
    ...82 S.Ct. 980, 8 L.Ed.2d 168 (1962); Dugan v. Rank, 372 U.S. 609, 83 S.Ct. 999, 10 L.Ed.2d 15 (1963); and City of Fresno v. California, 372 U.S. 627, 83 S.Ct. 996, 10 L.Ed.2d 28 (1963), while 418 F. Supp. 1251 presenting some fascinating questions regarding the future course of the law of th......
  • County of Trinity v. Andrus, No. S-77-343-PCW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • October 13, 1977
    ...compensation must be paid when the United States acquires water rights for use in reclamation projects. City of Fresno v. California, 372 U.S. 627, 630, 83 S.Ct. 996, 10 L.Ed.2d 28 (1963). But once those rights are acquired, the state cannot compel disposition 438 F. Supp. 1385 of the water......
  • U.S. v. State Water Resources Control Bd.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 28, 1986
    ...Virtually none of this protective legislation has been interpreted by the courts. (But see generally City of Fresno v. California (1963) 372 U.S. 627, 630, 83 S.Ct. 996, 998, 10 L.Ed.2d 28.) The Attorney General, however, has construed the watershed and county-of-origin statutes as having a......
  • CALIFORNIA LEGISLATIVE COUN., OLDER AMER. v. Weinberger, Civ. No. S74-32.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • April 5, 1974
    ...to purchase a nutritionally adequate diet through normal channels of trade." 7 U.S.C. § 2011. 7 See also City of Fresno v. California, 372 U.S. 627, 629, 83 S.Ct. 996, 10 L.Ed.2d 28 (1963); Dugan v. Rank, 372 U.S. 609, 621-623, 83 S.Ct. 999, 10 L.Ed.2d 15 (1963); Malone v. Bowdoin, 369 U.S.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
47 cases
  • City of Santa Clara, Cal. v. Kleppe, No. C-75-1574.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • July 23, 1976
    ...82 S.Ct. 980, 8 L.Ed.2d 168 (1962); Dugan v. Rank, 372 U.S. 609, 83 S.Ct. 999, 10 L.Ed.2d 15 (1963); and City of Fresno v. California, 372 U.S. 627, 83 S.Ct. 996, 10 L.Ed.2d 28 (1963), while 418 F. Supp. 1251 presenting some fascinating questions regarding the future course of the law of th......
  • County of Trinity v. Andrus, No. S-77-343-PCW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • October 13, 1977
    ...compensation must be paid when the United States acquires water rights for use in reclamation projects. City of Fresno v. California, 372 U.S. 627, 630, 83 S.Ct. 996, 10 L.Ed.2d 28 (1963). But once those rights are acquired, the state cannot compel disposition 438 F. Supp. 1385 of the water......
  • U.S. v. State Water Resources Control Bd.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 28, 1986
    ...Virtually none of this protective legislation has been interpreted by the courts. (But see generally City of Fresno v. California (1963) 372 U.S. 627, 630, 83 S.Ct. 996, 998, 10 L.Ed.2d 28.) The Attorney General, however, has construed the watershed and county-of-origin statutes as having a......
  • CALIFORNIA LEGISLATIVE COUN., OLDER AMER. v. Weinberger, Civ. No. S74-32.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • April 5, 1974
    ...to purchase a nutritionally adequate diet through normal channels of trade." 7 U.S.C. § 2011. 7 See also City of Fresno v. California, 372 U.S. 627, 629, 83 S.Ct. 996, 10 L.Ed.2d 28 (1963); Dugan v. Rank, 372 U.S. 609, 621-623, 83 S.Ct. 999, 10 L.Ed.2d 15 (1963); Malone v. Bowdoin, 369 U.S.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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