News from around the Ojai Valley

Judge's absence delays Playhouse trial

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter

Ojai Playhouse Theater owner Khaled Al-Awar's lawsuit against the Golden State Water Company (GSWC) was all set for a jury trial Jan. 30 in Ventura County Superior Court. The lawyers were there for both sides as was the pool of prospective jurors … but the judge didn't show.

Judge Kent Kellegrew was to have presided over the case at 1:30 p.m., attorney Brett Templeman said Jan. 30. For reasons not disclosed to the participants at the time, Kellegrew was absent so the case was moved to another department whose judge ordered the attorneys to reconvene for trial Feb. 27.

Templeman, who is part of the legal team representing Al-Awar, said the case would be “trailing” during the interim, though, meaning that if a courtroom becomes available the 15-day trial could get under way.

“For the next month, if they call us, we'll have 48 hours in which to get ready and show up,” Templeman said. “And if there is no call, we'll be back in court Feb. 27 at 1:30 p.m.”