A recent court decision interpreted”De Novo review” as requiring a complete “do over.” The administrative hearings have NO effect because parties can introduce entirely new evidence not even offered to the GWC. This is a waste of time and money and makes the original proceedings by the GWC/ Hearing Officer meaningless. No other administrative appeal operates this way. Under HBÂ1337 the District Court will continue to make its own findings of fact and legal rulings i.e.”De Novo Appeal.”. It simply can’t accept new evidence.
Will all applications now be required to spend significant money on attorneys and experts?
NO… HB 1337 will decrease costs and will ensure applicants are required to prove they don’t injure other water rights. Most applications have no objections and applicants are simply required to provide the information required on the application forms. For those with objections, the applicant has the responsibility to prove they are not injuring other farmers’s water rights. HB 1337 ensures that all parties are on equal footing and there is no perverse incentive for parties to withhold evidence.