Three judges' verdicts (one in 2019 and two in 2020) agreed with us that yes, the runway noise is an "ongoing private nuisance".
This importance of this vital decision is best explained here:
Intentionally or unintentionally, the defense claimed that only those who'd bought their homes before 1980 are allowed to file airport noise claims. This claim is from the FAA's regulations; it's a federal statute. Small claims court is NOT a federal court; it deals with state issues.
As one legal entity from the Judicial Council of California put it,
"In general, if the small claims court is handling a state issue, federal statutes would not apply or be binding on the small claims court, even if the party presents the statute in its arguments to the court.
"The source of this statement is my summary of jurisdiction of courts in the United
States at federal and state levels."
Our group was unable to deflect the defense claim since we had no knowledge of its provenance at the time. Neither, apparently, did the judge who complied with the statute since only those who'd owned their home over 40 years ago were awarded compensation.
For our upcoming hearings, we have the backing of the Judicial Court of California's statement as proof that the defense was incorrect in applying a federal statute.