Quote of the Day - In this business, by the time you realize you're in trouble, it's too late to save yourself. Unless you're running scared all the time, you're gone.
In Merced County, California, a company sought to build a 32-bed care facility, and got hit with a $45K connection fee. Quite surprised, the company paid the fee under protest, and filed a complaint seeking refund of the fees, or part of the fees one day later. The water district denied the claim, and of course a suit followed.
In the case against the water district, the court held that the company's complaint was too late. Although the court omits from the factual recitation the date the complaint was filed, I assume it was filed more than 120 days after the ordinance was filed in 1997.
It's likely, too, that the company that built the residential care facility either formed or came into the district well after 1997. This result seems particularly harsh if those circumstances are true. The law cited by the court, however, addressed and rejected that argument. The underlying case determined that the wrong that was being challenged was the ordinance, not the later impostion of fees. Consequently, the challenge was too late.
Long and short: due diligence.