INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Aaron Katz is hoping to take his near decade-long legal fight against the Incline Village General Improvement District to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On June 2, Katz filed a petition asking for the nation’s highest court to hear the case. His argument is that the First Amendment right for a citizen to petition their government should extend to state governments under the 14th Amendment.
Katz filed his original case against IVGID in 2011, claiming the board did not have the ability to offer the array of services it did. He especially takes offense to residents being required to pay recreation and beach fees, even if they don’t use those facilities.
The district court ruled in IVGID’s favor as did the Nevada Supreme Court when Katz appealed.
The state supreme court also ruled that he was accountable for the district’s attorney’s fees, a bill over $226,000.
During the May 27 IVGID board meeting, trustees voted unanimously to turn down a settlement offer by Katz and his attorneys. The board’s decision came without any discussion of a counteroffer.
“The District looks forward to a finalization of this matter so that we can focus our limited legal resources on the issues of greater importance to the citizens of Incline Village and Crystal Bay,” said Tim Callicrate, chair of the IVGID board, in a statement to the Tribune.
Katz did not want to speak with the Tribune about the case but longtime resident and board candidate Frank Wright is familiar with the case and thinks it’s wrong the board would not counter.
“They could reach out and say let’s put an end to this,” Wright said.
While this case on the surface seems to be about mere recreation fees, it could have a national impact on the role of local governments if heard by the Supreme Court.
“Everybody has the right to challenge something their government is doing that they don’t think is right,” Wright said.
Now it’s a waiting game to see if the court will hear the case.