February 2012, the Friends of Rattlesnake Island (Friends) filed a lawsuit against Lake County, the Board of Supervisors, and John Nady alleging violations of the California Environmental Quality Act.

The suit called for the court to issue a peremptory writ of mandamus vacating the approval of the project and directing the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report and staying any and all construction on the project. The suit claimed that:

Friends made three attempts to obtain a temporary restraining order to stop construction until the case could be heard. All were denied. Meanwhile, though winter grading restrictions were in effect, the County Community Development Director granted the applicant an exemption, allowing grading on the island through the rainy season.

By the time the case was heard (a year later), all construction related excavation had been completed and any damage to archaeological resources had already taken place.

Due to the fact that the damage had already been done, the court ruled that the Friends of Rattlesnake Island case against the county for CEQA violations was mute (no longer valid as there was no longer the possibility of preventing the damage that had already occurred to the cultural site)