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Westlands Water District v. United States

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20021
Nos. 12-12 C, (Fed. Cl., 01/15/2013)

The Court of Federal Claims dismissed a water district's breach of contract claims against the United States for failing to provide water drainage facilities and services. The district argued that the contracts it entered into with the government expressly obligated the government to provide drainage. The district, however, failed to state a claim for relief. The district cited a number of recitals made by the government acknowledging its obligation to provide drainage. But recitals are generally not considered contractual, and government representations are not binding contractual obligations unless stated as an undertaking rather than an intention. Here, the recitals contain only statements of intention or representations of actions already taken, not contractual statements of a present undertaking. In addition, a number of claims were time barred, and the court lacked authority to grant declaratory relief.