Ontario International Airport

Passengers wait to board their flight to Dallas-Fort Worth at Ontario International Airport in Ontario. (File photo by John Valenzuela – Staff Photographer)

By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 09/15/14, 11:37 AM PDT | Updated: 1 min ago

RIVERSIDE >> The 1967 agreement which gave control of then Ontario International Airport to Los Angeles will be subject to legal scrutiny next month.

On Monday morning, Riverside Superior Court Judge Gloria Connor Trask agreed to hear a motion from Los Angeles to dismiss a significant portion of Ontario’s lawsuit in the battle over control of the airport.

LA filed a motion last week asking the court to determine whether certain documents including the 1967 Joint Powers Agreement are subject to termination.

Ontario filed a claim in June 2013 against L.A. and Los Angeles World Airports, an agency of that city that operates ONT, Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys Airport. The suit aims to rescind or reform the terms of a 1967 agreement that gave control of the Ontario airport to L.A.

Attorneys for Ontario are expected to file a cross motion, asking that the courts terminate the existing JPA, and could begin the process of reverting control of the airport to a local agency.

Both motions are expected to be heard Oct. 31 as well as discussing setting a trial date.

“Government Code states a joint powers agreement has to have a definite term. California law, even in the absence of Government Code, states an agreement can’t have an indefinite term,” said Andre Cronthall, attorney for Ontario.

Los Angeles argues that the statues of limitation of rescission and reformation is three years, and Ontario’s claims are more than 40 years late.

Steve Rosenthal, an attorney representing Los Angeles, was insistent that the court hear the issue on the day it had asked, Oct. 15.

But the Cronthall motioned for more time because discovery was still ongoing.

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