Letter to SJC Water Department is

Water Company Continues to use illegal rate and fee structure despite court order.
Water Company Continues to use illegal rate and fee structure despite court order.
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Donna Fleming

San Juan Capistrano, Ca. 92675

 «December 27, 2013


City of San Juan Capistrano

Water Department Billing Department


Subj: Donna Fleming Current fraudulent bill never mailed  

Attn: Head of Accounting City Water Billing

 Please be advised that I have not received a water bill in over two months. All residents were notified on PATCH that the bills would be going out late due to the water billing rate structure which has been ruled as illegal by a Judge Munoz.


“ SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – San Juan Capistrano's tiered water-rate system is illegal, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The city must abandon the system, approved three years ago by the City Council, and restructure the rates so they comply with the state Constitution, an order issued in Santa Ana by Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Munoz said on August 12, 2013”.


"This court finds that city failed to carry its burden of establishing credible evidence that the rate increases were proportional to the costs of providing water services to its customers," Munoz wrote. "City refers to the administrative record as providing the proof on which the new rates were based, but the court could not find any specific financial cost date ... to support the substantial rate increase."

Munoz also ruled the city violates the Constitution by charging ratepayers for recycled water "that they do not actually use and that is not immediately available to them."

The city has not abandoned the practice of overbilling.  

Since I have not received a paper bill in the mail I have not paid the bill. On Christmas Eve, I received a disconnect notice on my door for an unpaid water bill. It also notes that their office will be closed from 12/23 – 1/1/14.


I know the city did not mail a bill to me. They did not mail a bill because the bills are illegal. Sending the bills through the US Post Office makes the city liable for mail fraud. They know the bills are illegal and they owe the residents back, “over charge fees” going back to 2010, so they are telling residents to pay their bill on line. Thus, they avoid another possible law suit for mail fraud.


I am dropping off a check to assure my water will not be turned off. I also enclose a copy of an old bill.


This is one more reason to recall Sam Allevato, and another reason for our city to get out of the water business. They do not know how to run a business.


Refunds are due residents.



Donna Fleming.

 CC: Patch






Sunshine December 30, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Sign the petition to RECALL SAM ALLEVATO www.RecallSam.com
Sunshine December 30, 2013 at 02:31 PM
They are charging you a $20 NOTIFICATION FEE!!?? Arrogant idiots!!!
Smokey Bear December 30, 2013 at 04:40 PM
My water is shut off right now & I have no idea what is going on, or why it is turned off. How convenient it is to be shut down the last weeks of the year after turning peoples water off. I just got back into town, no mail, no notice of anything having to do with bills or water sent to me! Is anyone else's water turned off?
Donna Fleming December 30, 2013 at 09:12 PM
The City Water did NOT send me a bill. I have been waiting for it. I posted a concern about 2 months ago regarding the court ruling that the bills were illegal and that if the water company mailed us bills knowingly illegal (as Judge Munoz ruled), then they were compounding their corruption by using the US mail to send out the water bills. Then we were advised via Patch that the water bills would be late due to the reworking of the water billing system. Still no bill. So, on Christmas eve they stuck that shut off notice on my front door. If anyone received a bill that is mail fraud. Our city council is corrupt. This is the tip of the ice berg.
Donna Fleming December 30, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Smokey....you need to raise hell with the Water dept. Ask them if they mailed you a bill? Make them prove it. They did not send out bills. That would have been mail fraud.
Matthew Keune December 30, 2013 at 11:17 PM
They mailed the bills. At this very moment I am holding two bills in my hand. One with a due date of 12/03/13 and the other with a 12/31/13 due date. The billing dates are 11/06/13 and 12/05/13 respectively.
Donna Fleming December 31, 2013 at 01:07 AM
Matthew, Maybe they did not mail all of the bills. Smokey did not get his bill. I did not get my bill. One could be lost, not two.
Jonathan Volzke January 02, 2014 at 07:49 PM
Smokey -- this information is on the city website and was in the City Manager's update: A reminder that City Hall will be closed Monday, December 23rd through Wednesday, January 1st. You may still access your water account and/or pay your bill online during this time at https://ewater.sanjuancapistrano.org. If you have a water emergency, 24-hour service is available by calling 949-493-1515. Did you call?
Jonathan Volzke January 02, 2014 at 07:50 PM
Donna, how do you propose they "prove" they mailed a bill?
Donna Fleming January 02, 2014 at 08:29 PM
JV, The city did not mail a bill. I have been waiting for it. The Patch posted a letter from the city saying bills would be late. I never received a bill from the water dept. I received all other bills, edison, gas, phone, etc. No water bill for two months. I assumed they were reworking their billing software to comply with Judge Munoz ruling of August. It is especially irritating since they owe us all a refund. But, Merry Christmas we are shutting off you water notices on 12/24.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) January 02, 2014 at 08:50 PM
The article in Patch said the bills would be 2-3 weeks late. And they were. We got ours (several now).
Donna Fleming January 02, 2014 at 11:06 PM
Penny, I did not receive mine. I have been waiting for it and it never showed up. Smokey did not receive his bill and they turned his water OFF. Yes, they should have mailed out the bills. The corrected bills as directed by Judge Munoz. I certainly intended to go over it, and the envelope it was mailed in.
Jonathan Volzke January 02, 2014 at 11:09 PM
Donna, first off, Smokey and you can always go online and pay a bill -- if Smokey's was turned off, there would have been a balance there. And second, I ask again, how do you suggest the city "prove" they mailed a bill?
Donna Fleming January 02, 2014 at 11:12 PM
JV...It is the 2nd day of the New Year. Are you going to drive us all crazy for the entire year? This has nothing to do with you.
Sam Avacado January 03, 2014 at 10:46 AM
Jonathinnnn Vodka likes to think he is the voice of Sam Juan. He forgets I am the MAYOR OF SAM JUAM ! Lots of people think that online is secure easy way to pay. It isn't the cats meow Jonathinnnn Vodka thinks it is. If you don't think security can't be breached, just ask target. Why should anyone be required to have internet service to have water? Anyway, Sam Avacado signing off for now. I love Sam Juan, the City where hardly anyone can afford to pay the water bill, that is if you receive one !
Jonathan Volzke January 03, 2014 at 03:08 PM
Umm, Donna? You posted it on a public blog. That is for everybody to comment. You told Smokey to get the city to prove they sent the bill. I merely asked you how you propose the city prove it mailed the bill. You haven't answered that.
Donna Fleming January 03, 2014 at 06:49 PM
JV,,,Are you speaking for the SJC city water company?
Jonathan Volzke January 05, 2014 at 09:04 PM
Donna, I'm speaking for those who read this blog and read where you said "did you ask the city to prove they mailed their bill." How do you propose the city do that, Donna? I'm not sure why you can't explain what you said.
Donna Fleming January 06, 2014 at 03:09 AM
JV..It is your job to sway public opinion to the benefit of your employer. That puts you outside the best interests of the residents of San Juan Capistrano. The residents of SJC are waiting for the refunds due them from the SJC water company. We had a judgement handed down by Judge Munoz in August of 2013, directing the city to correct their billing practice and to issue refunds. To date, the city has not complied with the ruling.
Apple sauce is gross January 06, 2014 at 11:20 AM
Jonathan Volzke is a lobbyist and an idiot. No two ways about it.
Donna Fleming January 06, 2014 at 06:25 PM
Kelly at the water company has advised me that my water bills have been re-directed to a real estate investment firm in Anaheim. That explains why, I have not received a bill in a couple of months. But, who changed my billing address? A real estate investment firm. Yet this firm had not been paying the water bill. It is all very mysterious.
Teri January 09, 2014 at 01:15 PM
Donna, I also got a disconnect notice on my door on Dec. 18th in the afternoon indicating that our water would be turned off at 4 p.m. that day if not paid. We pay ALL our bills every month.....we had not received a water bill and we also did not receive any notice or bill indicating that we were late. Just the notice on the door. I immediately called the city water dept. and was told that bills were sent out. I can assure you, WE DID NOT RECEIVE A BILL. She then suggested I open an online account or E-Pay or whatever they call it to begin paying my bills. I told her NO. I paid the bill on the phone by credit card. I had her check my mailing address and it was correct. In the 4 years we have lived in this house, we have always gotten our water bill. Then, a few days ago, I realized that I had yet to see a water bill so I called the city to ask why. She said a bill was sent out in December. She again said that they had sent out all the bills and that my problem must be with the post office. I asked her why would it be a problem at the post office when I am receiving ALL OTHER MAIL without any problems. She assured me that they are mailing out bills and have only had a few complaints. She checked my mailing address, which was still correct, and then told me I could sign up for online bills. I told her no again. She said she could send me a duplicate bill. I have not received it yet. So, can someone please tell me WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON HERE?
Donna Fleming January 09, 2014 at 10:25 PM
Teri....I ended up calling to assure they got my check in the drop box over the holidays. The woman was confused and could not find my payment. She checked my address and said the bill had been mailed to a real estate developer in Anaheim. I said, how could that be? She said, I should call them ask them why they are getting my bill. She did not have a procedure to follow if someone is changing an address on a bill. I suggested she find my check and match it to my address. I also asked her to mail me a statement. Still no statement. I also asked if they are in the midst of revamping the billing practice. She said No. They have appealed and expect that the the issue of a ruling will go away. I have done a couple of things. 1. I looked on line to see who is behind the real estate developement company who changed the address on my water bill. 2. I checked to see if there is a lawsuit being filed against the water company to uphold Judge Munoz's ruling. Yes, there is a lawsuit. I have created a file of correspondence and phone call records with the water company. I do not believe they are mailing out all water bills. If they mail the bill, and it is an unlawful bill, the ciy is liable for mail fraud. You need to call the water company and see where your bill is being mailed? What is really going on? I don't know.
Tornado Johnson January 12, 2014 at 10:45 AM
With the Target episode now at 110 million people, why would I ever want to go online and pay a bill. I will stick to the old fashion way thank you.


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