Courts, Rulings & Lawsuits

C.A. dismisses Logan’s appeal of order; grants writ relief

Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder Dean C. Logan yesterday, for the most part, lost his appellate court battle with the Committee to Support the Recall of George Gascón, with Div. Four of the Court of Appeal for this district declaring that he waited too long in challenging a Los Angeles Superior Court order to produce records pursuant to a public records request. While dismissing Logan’s from an order issued Dec. 6, the panel in an opinion by Justice Audra Mori, that his challenge, in the form of an appeal, from a Jan. 23 order providing supplemental relief, was timely, if treated as a writ petition, which it did.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Ninth Circuit: Deadly force is reasonable to stop a suspect pointing a replica gun at officers

Amid increased scrutinization of deadly officer-involved shootings, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently vindicated the objectionably reasonable standard in analyzing lawsuits involving the use of deadly force by peace officers. In Estate of Strickland v. Nevada County, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal for failure to state a claim of an action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, alleging that police officers used excessive force when they shot and killed Gabriel Strickland after he pointed a black airsoft rifle in their direction. 


City can sue journalist for publication of undercover officer photos

The city of Los Angeles won a round in court when a judge ruled that its lawsuit against a journalist regarding his involvement in the publication of photographs of undercover LAPD officers can move forward. Attorneys for Ben Camacho, a reporter for Knock LA, had asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Anthony Mohr to dismiss the suit on First Amendment grounds citing the state's anti-SLAPP law, which is intended to prevent people from using courts, and potential threats of a lawsuit, to intimidate those who are exercising their First Amendment rights.

City News Service

State-created danger doctrine justifies suit over death

The State of California might be liable to the widow and children of a guard at San Quentin who died from COVID-19 after prison officials transferred 122 men from a facility where the disease was rampant, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held yesterday in a 2-1 opinion in which the majority cited the “state-created danger doctrine.”

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Ninth Circuit rules Hawaii butterfly knife ban violates Second Amendment

Butterfly knives are protected under the Second Amendment right to bear arms, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled Monday, overturning Hawaii’s 30-year ban on the weapon. The conservative panel cited precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2022 in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which found the carrying of concealed firearms in public a constitutional right.

Courthouse News Service

Supreme Court says ghost gun rules can stay, for now

A divided Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to allow the Biden administration to continue enforcing its regulations on ghost guns while an appeal proceeds in the lower courts. The apparent 5-4 ruling from the high court’s shadow docket pauses a ruling out of Texas that would have thrown out regulations on the weapons nationwide. Now the government will be able to enforce the rules while an appeal proceeds in the Fifth Circuit. 

Courthouse News Service

US pistol brace rule likely illegal, federal appeals court rules

A U.S. regulation restricting ownership of gun accessories known as pistol braces is likely illegal, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, a victory for a gun rights group challenging the rule. A 2-1 panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives finalized the rule in January without giving the public a meaningful chance to comment on it.


Identities of persons slain 50 years ago are shielded by Fourth District Court of Appeal

The appellate courts’ mounting concern over protecting privacy rights of victims manifested itself yesterday in an opinion by Acting Presiding Justice Richard D. Huffman, of the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s Div. One, who concealed the identities of two persons who were slain in 1973 and whose names have appeared in two previous decisions.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Conservative students win over liberal appeals court in censorship case, seek campus recognition

Public college administrators 2,700 miles apart are trying to escape legal responsibility for what some courts are calling potential viewpoint discrimination against campus chapters of the same nationwide conservative group. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made that harder for California's Clovis Community College Thursday by refusing to moot the First Amendment lawsuit against several officials by former students in its Young Americans for Freedom chapter.

Just the News

Ordinance allowing non-citizens to vote is valid

Div. Five of the First District Court of Appeal yesterday reversed a permanent injunction barring enforcement of a San Francisco ordinance allowing non-citizens who are adult parents or guardians of children under the age of 19 to vote in local school board elections. Acting Presiding Justice Mark B. Simons wrote the opinion in which Justice Gordon B. Burns and Justice Danny Y. Chou concurred. 

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

LA County homelessness lawsuit now heads to trial following appellate court rejection

A federal appeals court has rejected L.A. County’s request to end a major homelessness lawsuit seeking more treatment beds for people struggling with mental illness and drug addiction. The ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, issued Friday but not reported in the press until now, paves the way for the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights case to proceed for a scheduled November trial before federal Judge David O. Carter.



Jury to decide fate of Kenneth Gay, facing trial again in 1983 death of LAPD Officer Paul Verna

In the summer of 1983, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Paul Verna was on patrol on his motorcycle in Lake View Terrace when he spotted a gray, two-door Oldsmobile Cutlass on the road. He flashed his lights at the driver, who pulled over on Hoyt Street, a neighborhood tucked away from busy Van Nuys Boulevard just to the northeast. Nothing would have appeared out of place with this particular traffic stop.

Los Angeles Daily News

District attorney threatens to charge officials in California's capital over homelessness response

Tensions are rising in California's capital city as the Sacramento district attorney threatened to file charges against city officials over their handling of the homelessness crisis, saying they are too lenient in their approach and are failing to enforce the rules. District Attorney Thien Ho on Monday threatened to press criminal charges against city officials under state public nuisance laws if they don't implement a slew of changes within 30 days, including a daytime camping ban where homeless people have to put their belongings in storage between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.


Irish bishop's accused murderer appears in court in Los Angeles

Carlos Medina, of Torrance in LA County, has been charged with one count of murder and a special allegation that he used a firearm in connection to Bishop David O'Connell's murder on February 18. Medina, 61, had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment hearing in March and faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón laid out the forensic evidence against Medina at a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles on Thursday, August 10.

Irish Central

No charges filed over altercation between activist, De León

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office has declined to file any charges stemming from an altercation between an activist and City Councilman Kevin de León that occurred in December at the height of calls for the councilman to resign his position. The decision prompted criticism from both people involved in the Dec. 9 fight, which occurred at a community event in Lincoln Heights. Both de León and activist Jason Reedy had accused the other of being the aggressor.

City News Service

DOJ requests protective order in election case after Trump post appears to promise revenge

The Justice Department on Friday asked a federal judge overseeing the criminal case against former President Donald Trump in Washington to step in after he released a post online that appeared to promise revenge on anyone who goes after him. Prosecutors asked U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to issue a protective order in the case a day after Trump pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to overturn his 2020 election loss and block the peaceful transition of power.


Case dropped as defense claims O.C. deputies planted drugs, tried to cover tracks

Drug charges were dropped against a Buena Park man in a criminal case that hinged on five plastic bags of methamphetamine that were allegedly found in his motel room - but that defense attorneys contend were later planted by deputies as evidence in his case. Prosecutors with the Orange County district attorney’s office dropped the charges Thursday, court records show, after defense attorneys accused deputies of moving the drug evidence into the man’s criminal file from another unrelated one.

Los Angeles Times

Placer County DA’s office prevents the early Prop 57 release of local child molester

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office Post Conviction Unit successfully stopped child molester Gabriel Price from being released early. On Friday, Aug. 4, 2023, the Board of Parole Hearings denied parole for Gabriel Price, who was being considered for early release under the state’s Nonviolent Offender Parole Review Program. In 2008, a jury convicted Price to over 15 felonies related to sex with a minor under the age of 16. 

The Union


LAPD Chief Moore, LA County Sheriff Luna appear in court to discuss zero-bail policies

LAPD Chief Michel Moore and Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna testified at a court hearing Monday about a highly controversial issue: zero-cash bail for suspects arrested in connection with certain types of crime. Moore and Luna appeared in a downtown LA courtroom to provide information about how their respective departments are handling the matter.


Police work isn't a tea party

One can imagine the angst in the Los Angeles Times newsroom (if such a place still exists). “We haven’t had a good hit piece on the cops lately,” an editor might say. “Who can cook one up?” How else to explain a story the Times ran on Wednesday, a piece ostensibly about a mildly inappropriate exchange between LAPD officers, one of whom had just shot a man wielding a machete? “LAPD officers caught joking about earning overtime after shooting someone,” reads the headline. 

Jack Dunphy/PJ Media

Barbara Ferrer and Adam Schiff vs. freedom of speech in Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer leveraged relationships with Rep. Adam Schiff in an effort to bully Twitter into silencing critics of her universal mask mandate in July 2022. Schiff’s role, part of Ferrer’s broader campaign to suppress her critics, is described in a remarkable July 26 court filing by attorney Julie Hamill of the Alliance of Los Angeles County Parents. The Alliance is suing the Department of Public Health and others, including Ferrer herself, for First Amendment violations. A trial is set for Oct. 16.

Orange County Register

Search warrant for Trump Twitter account obtained in Jan. 6 probe

Special counsel Jack Smith obtained a search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account in January this year, newly unsealed court documents revealed Wednesday. Twitter, now called X by new owner Elon Musk, initially resisted turning over access to the former president’s long-unused account and challenged an attached “nondisclosure order” that prohibited the company from notifying anyone, including Trump, about the warrant. 

Courthouse News Service

Los Angeles City/County

LA Councilmember Imelda Padilla hires former state assembly staffer found to have violated sexual harassment policy

Mark Lomeli was chief of staff to Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) at the time of harassment in 2016 - the allegations and findings came to light two years later. A statement from Padilla’s office said: "Her understanding is that as a father of two daughters, Mr. Lomeli has spent the years following these serious allegations, focused on redemption with both his church, family and professional therapy."


Female commander fired after drunken incident calls out LAPD 'double standard’

When LAPD Cmdr. Nicole Mehringer was caught drunk in an unmarked police car with a male subordinate with whom she was romantically involved, her actions drew a rare public rebuke from the chief of police. The 2018 allegations against Mehringer and Sgt. James Kelly amounted to "a severe breach of their duties as police officers not only to obey the law, but to be an example," then-chief Charlie Beck told a TV news reporter.

Los Angeles Times

LAPD officer arrested for alleged theft, fraud

A Los Angeles police officer was arrested for burglary and theft on Tuesday night. The officer was identified as Edmond Babaians, who is assigned to LAPD’s Custody Services Division. He has worked for the department for 16 years. Babaians was arrested on felony charges of burglary and theft of a debit card. An investigation into the case stemmed from a community member’s concerns about her missing debit card, authorities said. The victim last remembered being in possession of her card while she was inside an LAPD department facility. 


Fewest cops in a generation: LAPD shrinks below 9,000 officers

The number of officers employed by the LAPD has dropped below 9,000, a staffing level unseen since the administration of former LA Mayor Richard Riordan in the 1990s. Several City officials told NBC's I-Team that as of July 30 there were 8,967 officers employed, far below Mayor Karen Bass' goal of a 9,500 officers, and about 300 below what the current budget allows, roughly 9,300 officers.


Officers on patrol shot at in Pico Union

Two Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers were shot at while on a routine patrol Sunday on a busy Pico Union street. The shooting was reported around noon near the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Dewey Avenue. There, a gunman opened fire on the patrol cruiser and struck the vehicle, prompting officers to shoot in return. Officers chased the gunman on foot before being able to detain him.


Psych exam set for detective allegedly harassed over dress, socializing

Attorneys for a Los Angeles police homicide detective and the city have agreed on the parameters of a psychological examination for the plaintiff, who sued the city alleging she was unfairly criticized for such issues as the way she dressed and how much socializing she did at her desk.


LAPD sergeant says he has inside knowledge of 'SWAT Mafia' mentality

A former longtime Los Angeles police sergeant who alleges the SWAT unit is run by a "SWAT Mafia" of veteran officers who favor using deadly force has responded to a motion by the City Attorney's Office to dismiss his case on grounds he is not a whistleblower - saying candidates who "leaned toward shooting" were preferred over "critical thinkers.” Sgt. Timothy Colomey joined SWAT in 2008 and was the most senior sergeant in the unit.

City News Service

One city firefighter made $510,301 … in overtime; who else brought in big extra pay?

The Los Angeles city fire captain had regular pay of $169,489 last year, modest as far as these things go. But he made more than three times that in overtime - $510,301 - raking in total wages of $699,478 and winning the crown for “Most Prolific Overtime Earner Among California’s 327,000+ City Employees, 2022,” according to data from the state controller. The runner-up was another L.A. city fire captain, with regular pay of $160,892 and a stunning $409,724 in overtime. 

Orange County Register

Funding Anti-racism: LA County reintroduces $100M community investment grant 

To help address the impact of systemic racism in communities across Los Angeles, the LA County Justice, Care and Opportunities Department (JCOD) has launched the second year of funding opportunities through its Care First Community Investment grant. The funding is available for organizations that advance the county’s “Care First, Jails Last” vision, using direct community investments and funding for alternatives to incarceration.

LA Downtown News

LAPD in 'worst place possible' ahead of World Cup, Olympics, former sheriff warns (Video)

Former LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva sounds the alarm on staff shortages and security concerns for the 2026 World Cup and 2028 Summer Olympics.

Fox News


'Rampant crime has become a regular part of life': CNN reporter witnesses 3 thefts in 30 minutes at a San Francisco Walgreens - here's why retailers say they're fleeing the Bay Area

America’s most-robbed Walgreens was the victim of at least three thefts within 30 minutes in July, according to CNN Senior National Correspondent Kyung Lah - one of the latest examples of brazen crime at the location. The thefts were witnessed during the filming of a televised report at the Walgreens in San Francisco’s Richmond neighborhood.


Air horns and moving trucks: How Oakland, California, residents are facing a surge in crime

After 60-year-old retiree David Schneider was shot and killed here while trimming a tree in his yard, his neighbor, Toni Bird, said she retreated indoors. “People aren’t feeling safe out of their house,” she said. “It makes sense that you would want to protect your house then, right? You would barricade it.” Amid a surge in crime in Oakland, California, police have advised residents to use air horns to alert neighbors to intruders and add security bars to their doors and windows.


Murder of FBI agents leads to alleged Australian paedophile ring bust

A fatal shootout with an American paedophile that claimed the lives of two FBI agents unearthed the Australian arm of an alleged child abuse network, leading police to 19 paedophiles and sparking the rescue of 13 children across the country, investigators say. FBI special agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger were killed by automatic gunfire while standing on the doorstep of a Florida apartment in February 2021, preparing to execute a search warrant for child abuse material.

Sydney Morning Herald


Black man’s drug conviction vacated by U.S. appeals court after White judge said he ‘looks like a criminal’

A Black man who was sentenced to more than ten years in prison on drug trafficking charges had his conviction vacated Friday after it was revealed the White judge who oversaw his case said he "looks like a criminal.” The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the case of Leron Liggins, who was sentenced to more than a decade in prison in March 2022, court records show.


Tory Lanez sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting of Megan Thee Stallion

Tory Lanez, the man convicted of shooting rapper Megan Thee Stallion in 2020, was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office told CNN. In December of last year, a Los Angeles jury found Lanez guilty of three charges related to the July 2020 shooting of fellow rapper Stallion in the Hollywood Hills, the Los Angeles County District Attorney told CNN at the time.



Thieves rob Yves Saint Laurent store in Glendale in brazen daylight heist

A group of thieves burglarized a Yves Saint Laurent store Tuesday at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, according to authorities. The “flash mob” burglary involved 30 to 40 people, who got away with about $300,000 worth of merchandise, ABC7 reported, citing Glendale police. The thieves escaped in about 20 vehicles. Videos posted on social media showed at least 20 people wearing hooded sweatshirts fleeing the store in broad daylight.

Los Angeles Times

Some neighborhoods see spikes in burglaries, even as citywide totals stay steady

In the early morning hours of July 24, a burglar broke into an apartment storage unit on the east side of Los Angeles and walked away with property worth tens of thousands of dollars. Lenora Claire, one of the victims, recalled how, the next morning, her husband saw their burglarized unit. She said scores of valuable collectibles had been stolen, including a vintage 1986 Nintendo video game set.


How Bluetooth could be making your car a target for Bay Area break-ins

Thieves in at least three major Bay Area cities have been turning to Bluetooth technologies to help them nab electronics from parked vehicles, adding a high-tech twist to one of the region’s most intractable issues, according to law enforcement officials. Police department spokespersons in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose said they were aware of incidents in which thieves used their phones to locate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals emanating from laptops, tablets or other devices in vehicles. 

San Francisco Chronicle

Deputies investigate armed robbery outside popular West Hollywood restaurant

A recent string of armed robberies has some West Hollywood residents worried about their safety. "These things are happening with increasing frequency," said resident Alan Steinberg. "They're more serious and more dangerous. There are more people involved.” Steinberg said he was not surprised to hear about another robbery outside the popular celebrity hot spot, Craig's, Thursday morning.


Homeless man dies after car set on fire while he slept inside in South LA

A homeless man died hours after someone set his car on fire while he was sleeping inside, police say. The incident happened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday near E. 102nd St and Avalon Boulevard in South Los Angeles. The victim was sleeping in his car when a man poured some sort of flammable liquid either in or on the car then set it on fire, police say.


Video: Man grew agitated, aimed gun in moments before Bayview police shooting 

Body camera footage released today shows Ryant Bluford, the man who police officers in the Bayview shot and killed last week, was agitated and attempting to stop an arrest before he pointed his gun at officers and was immediately killed. The San Francisco Police Department, in a “town hall” meeting on Friday, showed the moments leading up to Bluford’s death on July 26. Bluford was apparently angry at the sight of officers attempting to arrest a man at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Catalina Street in the Bayview. 

Mission Local

Homeless Issue

Horrifying’ homeless service data problems prompt fury from LA councilmembers

The city of L.A. is running into major data problems as the mayor’s office works to address homelessness - it was discovered this week that the city may be paying for services that were never used, such as motel rooms that sat empty. Councilmembers learned new details about the issues, which include missing data points on people leaving motel shelters, during their housing and homelessness committee meeting this week.


Why San Francisco is a homeless mecca

California has spent more than $20 billion on housing for the homeless since 2020, yet public encampments continue to grow. As San Francisco progressives are learning, government can build more shelter, but that doesn’t mean the homeless will use them. The city of San Francisco released data last week showing that 55% of homeless individuals rejected shelter when offered it. Days earlier a giant fire destroyed a housing complex under construction. The blaze is under investigation, but residents in the area say they repeatedly complained to the city about fires igniting around homeless encampments.

Wall Street Journal

Articles of Interest

Ninth Circuit strikes down $1.7M in fees for class action lawyers who recovered $50K

Lawyers who were awarded $1.7 million for a class action settlement worth only $50,000 got too much, a federal appeals court has ruled. In an opinion amended Aug. 2 to show no judges have voted for a rehearing before the full roster, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided attorneys at Michelman & Robinson obtained a settlement with Napster that provided minimal benefit to class members who were copyright holders of musical compositions.

Legal Newsline

‘That is how you run a city’: Top mayors share tips for tackling crime, homelessness and hostile media

It’s Saturday, Aug. 5, and we’d like to welcome you to the weekly State and Local Roundup. There’s plenty to keep tabs on, with AP psychology being “effectively banned” in Florida, the death of New Jersey’s trailblazing lieutenant governor and continuing redistricting battles in Wisconsin and Alabama. But first we’ll start with four mayors sharing ideas about tackling homelessness, violence and other issues confronting city officials. 

Route Fifty

State Supreme Court sides with Conrad Prebys’ ‘life partner’ in whistleblower dispute with foundation

The California Supreme Court has ruled that the domestic partner of late philanthropist Conrad Prebys can carry on with a whistleblower lawsuit that accuses his charitable foundation of misdirecting millions of dollars to his estranged son. The ruling has broader implications for charities across California, setting a precedent that judges cannot dismiss a whistleblower’s lawsuit just because the individual loses his or her seat on a charity’s board of directors, as was the case with Debra Turner.

San Diego Union-Tribune

An L.A. diner that’s been obsessing over its burgers and pies since 1947

Los Angeles is the promise of speed denied. It’s a city of five-lane freeways where traffic crawls. A city that teases the possibility of instant stardom, yet it can take years to land a SAG card. Los Angeles is the birthplace of In-N-Out Burger - its very name auguring swift satisfaction - where the drive-through lines stretch to infinity. Behold the Maseratis in the queue: eager to race, forced to idle. Angelenos know the feeling.

New York Times

How Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and TMZ were drawn into Kesha and Dr. Luke’s legal battle

The legal battle between Kesha and Dr. Luke - the pop star and the megaproducer - stretched on for nearly a decade. But the dispute largely centered on a night in 2005 when the singer alleged that the producer sexually assaulted her in West Hollywood. Known today for hits like “TiK ToK,” “Die Young,” and “Timber,” Sebert was discovered as a teenager in Tennessee by an up-and-coming producer in New York, Lukasz Gottwald, now known as Dr. Luke. 

Los Angeles Times


Fed up LA diners are now tracking restaurant service charges on a spreadsheet

Reddit users in Los Angeles have created a Google Sheet listing various restaurant service charges, noting restaurant names, neighborhoods, surcharge percentages, and more details, including notes from conversations with servers and how some restaurants allocate service fees. There are also several additional details shared in a thread, notes KTLA. As Eater’s Amy McCarthy noted last month, service fees have become an often unavoidable aspect of dining, both at restaurants and on takeout orders.

Eater Los Angeles

Avoid being scammed by artificial intelligence voice spoofing calls

Artificial intelligence is the buzzword everyone is talking about. From whether you should invest in AI companies, to the fear that it will take your job or the philosophical question about how to control the technology. As you’ve heard me say before, behind every new trend are bad actors waiting to exploit it and in the case of AI, it’s through voice spoofing. Cybercriminals only need a few seconds of voice audio to be able to clone it using artificial intelligence, also known as voice spoofing.

The Alpine Sun


California prisons have a drug problem. A strip search policy takes aim at visitors

Renee Espinoza thought her first strip search at the hands of a California correctional officer would be her last. It happened during a visit to Centinela State Prison to see her incarcerated husband. A few months later it happened again. And then again. “It was the same process each time. I sign a paper saying it’s ok to search me, they escort me to the same locker room,” Renee said. Before each search, she filled out the so-called Form 888, a requirement for each visitor who consents to an unclothed search. 



Will California stop taxing military pensions?

Military retirees residing in California potentially pay more taxes on their military retirement pay than they would in other states. That’s because California is the only U.S. state that fully taxes military pensions. (The District of Columbia does as well.) But proposed legislation would exempt military retirement income from California state income tax - at least for the next ten years. “We need to make the state more Veteran friendly and honor the many sacrifices of our armed services personnel and their spouses.” Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-San Bernardino) said in a release regarding the bill.


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