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Judge grants CBJ’s request to end lawsuit between CBJ & cruise ship association

January 25, 2019 – News

In a ruling yesterday afternoon, a federal court judge has granted the City and Borough of Juneau’s request to end a nearly 3-year-old lawsuit with Cruise Line International Association Alaska (CLIAA).

City Manager Rorie Watt is pleased that CLIAA and CBJ can end the litigation and move forward together. “Our town, port, natural setting, and tourism opportunities are world class. It is our position that we charge fair fees and provide excellent services. Judge Holland’s ruling gives both parties the room to navigate their differences. We invite CLIAA to join us productively in planning for the future,” Watt said.

Federal District Court Judge H. Russel Holland issued the order January 24 in the lawsuit Cruise Line International Association Alaska vs. the City and Borough of Juneau. Following Judge Holland’s December 6 decision, the CBJ requested that Judge Holland issue a final judgment to end the current lawsuit. CLIAA objected and asked Judge Holland to allow CLIAA to keep litigating.

CLIAA wanted to challenge future CBJ expenditures and force CBJ to reduce its passenger fees. Judge Holland disagreed with CLIAA. Judge Holland stated, “looking to the future, the court has no way of knowing what projects and/or expenses [CBJ] will approve for the 2019 tourist season.” Judge Holland also disagreed with CLIAA’s suggestion that CBJ was ignoring his December 6 decision that fees associated with cruise ships entering the Juneau port must be expended upon projects and services that benefit the vessels.

The CBJ has various items on the January 28 Regular Assembly Meeting that demonstrate CBJ is adjusting how it expends passenger fees in a way that continues to create the top destination port that CLIAA members rely on.

Litigation materials in the lawsuit Cruise Line International Association Alaska vs. the City and Borough of Juneau can be found here.

For more information, contact City Manager Rorie Watt at 586-5240 or Rorie.Watt@juneau.org.