A Superior Court judge has set an Aug. 17 hearing for two lawsuits involving labor disputes with law enforcement officers.
Under a state law signed by the governor last year, Ventura County sheriff's deputies and Santa Paula police officers are each trying to force stalled contract talks to arbitration panels.
County lawyers filed a lawsuit May 25 challenging the deputies' right to bring in an arbitration panel to settle the dispute over pay and retirement benefits.
Last month, the Santa Paula Police Officers Assn. filed suit against the city demanding that a similar dispute go to binding arbitration.
Judge Barbara Lane ruled Wednesday that the cases should be heard together because they center on the constitutionality of the new arbitration law.