The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association lawsuit, which attempts to overturn California’s State Regulated Area Fire Fee will begin Friday, July 19, in the Sacramento Superior Court.

The initial proceeding is a hearing in response to the state’s request that the case be dismissed.

The Jarvis association filed the litigation in October 2012. The suit alleges that the fee, being applied to parcels and structures with State Regulated Areas, is actually a tax. Consequently, its passage requires a two-thirds majority of the state legislature, not a simple majority, which enacted the fee in July 2011. The Jarvis litigation also challenges the fee’s implementation, too.

The state’s response first challenges the facts and argues that a class action suit cannot be filed.

“...[C]lass relief against government defendants is unavailable unless the specific government claims statute permits the filing of class claims. Under AB29X, only ‘a person from whom the fire prevention fee is determined to be due’ may file a petition for re-determination. The term ‘person’ does not include a class. Thus, the class allegations and all other class references should be stricken from the ... complaint,” wrote California Deputy Attorney General Jacob Berman in an April filing.

The court’s ruling will determine whether the case proceeds.