Courts, Rulings & Lawsuits

DUI arrestee wrongfully ordered to submit to blood draw

Div. Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal has held that a judge erred in denying a petition for a writ of mandate brought by a motorist seeking a command to the Department of Vehicles not to yank his driver’s license for a year based on a refusal to submit to a chemical test of his blood alcohol content when, in fact, he did consent to a breath test but, when told that such a test was unavailable, declined to submit to a blood test.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Supreme Court considers recoil from landmark gun rights ruling

One court ruled that federal law cannot bar someone from owning a gun just because that person is subject to a domestic violence restraining order. Another decided that preventing someone convicted of a nonviolent felony from owning a gun is unconstitutional. And a third found that the federal law prohibiting people under 21 from owning firearms is unlawful.

NBC News

US Supreme Court rules that federal sentencing law does not require consecutive sentences

In a slip opinion on Friday, the US Supreme Court declared that a federal sentencing law gives district courts discretion to impose either concurrent or consecutive sentences for certain drug-related crimes. The case is an appeal from the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Justice Ketanji Brown authored the unanimous opinion.


Liability possible over teacher’s sex with willing adult

Div. Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal yesterday ordered reinstatement of a cause of action against the Orange Unified School District for negligent supervision and retention of a teacher who engaged in a romantic, sexual relationship with the plaintiff, who was at the time a high school senior, even though, at age 19, she was a consenting adult.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Supreme Court upholds federal law used to prosecute people who encourage illegal immigration

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a section of federal law used to prosecute people who encourage illegal immigration, ruling against a California man who offered adult adoptions he falsely claimed would lead to U.S. citizenship. The court by a 7-2 vote rejected arguments that the law is too broad and violates the Constitution. The case involves a section of federal immigration law that says a person who “encourages or induces” a non-citizen to come to or remain in the United States illegally can be punished by up to five years in prison.


Supreme Court hands Biden a narrow win on immigration enforcement, deportations

The Supreme Court handed President Joe Biden a rare win Friday in a major immigration case, ruling that Republican officials in two states who challenged the president's effort to prioritize some unauthorized immigrants for arrest and detention over others did not have standing to sue. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote for a five-justice majority that included Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson. 

USA Today

Appeals court holds that Title IX extends to claims of discrimination based on perceived sexual orientation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that harassment based on perceived sexual orientation constitutes sex discrimination under Title IX, extending the holding from the U.S. Supreme Court's Title VII decision in Bostock to Title IX cases.

JD Supra

State appeals court upholds ex-Long Beach officer’s conviction

A state appeals court panel today upheld a former Long Beach police detective’s conviction for conspiring to obstruct justice for leaking details of two investigations, including a murder probe, to a reputed gang member. The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected Yvonne Dionne Robinson’s claim that there were errors in her trial in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

City News Service

Court rejects like contentions in 25 separate appeals

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said “no” 25 times yesterday, in separate memorandum opinions, in response to pleas to reconsider the conclusion reached by a three-judge panel last year that federal preemption does not exist in actions against health care facilities based on the alleged failure to protect patients from being infected by COVID-19.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

George Gascon

Gascon critic suit winner files new retaliation case over bonus denial

A veteran Los Angeles County prosecutor awarded $1.5 million by a jury after she experienced retaliation for complaining about directives set forth after the 2020 election of District Attorney George Gascon has filed a second suit, alleging she is being wrongfully denied a 1.5% bonus she maintains she has earned. The March 6 Los Angeles Superior Court verdict in favor of plaintiff Deputy District Attorney Shawn Randolph was the first of nearly 20 such cases that have been filed by prosecutors and are still awaiting trial.


LA supes leave Gascon alone after facilitating the ouster of elected sheriff

Last summer, by a 4 to 1 vote the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors put a county charter amendment on the ballot that would allow them to fire the sheriff despite his being separately elected to run the independent sheriff’s department. Voters approved the measure in November. What the supervisors have not done - and intentionally did not do last summer - is to allow the same potential action in regard to the district attorney.

California Globe


Orange County District Attorney calls for crackdown on Chilean theft rings operating in US (Video)

After a rash of recent home invasion robberies that police are blaming on Chilean theft rings, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer is calling on the federal government to change the US visa policy with Chile. Tom Wait reports.


Inmate charged with threatening Orange County judge

An inmate already in prison for an attempted-murder conviction in Riverside County is now facing a new criminal charge after prosecutors accused him of threatening an Orange County Superior Court judge. Lawrence Leon Kirkley, 47, has been charged with a felony count of threatening Orange County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Menninger in August, according to a criminal complaint filed late last month.

Orange County Register

Is the Curren Price indictment another dirty political trick?

This column is not the only one scratching its head. So too is city councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who was chosen to replace Price as City Council president pro temp. June 20, 2023, LA Times, by Julia Wick, David Zahniser “"It's just unclear. I've not seen a felony charge for this type of activity. I've seen ethics violations for this type of activity," Harris-Dawson said.


Pete Davidson charged with reckless driving after crashing car into Beverly Hills house

Pete Davidson has been charged with a misdemeanor count of reckless driving after crashing a car into a Beverly Hills house in March, authorities said Friday. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said the comedian and former "Saturday Night Live" star's reckless driving "resulted in his involvement in a serious collision into a home." No one was seriously injured, prosecutors said.

NBC News

D.A. charges South L.A. metal recycling company with illegally disposing hazardous waste at school

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday announced charges against a recycling facility, accusing it of illegally disposing hazardous waste next to and onto a Watts high school. The charges were announced outside Jordan High School, located at 2265 E 103rd St., where District Attorney George Gascón said a “serious environmental injustice” had occurred.


Two United Airlines employees charged with stealing copious amounts of marijuana from passenger baggage

Both the FBI and the drug dealers were wise to a scheme where two airline employees were allegedly stealing mass amounts of marijuana from San Francisco airport passengers’ luggage and selling it themselves. Even though adult-use cannabis is legal in California now, there are still plenty of illegal marijuana farms across the state.



Murder-suicide, arson: What went wrong at L.A. County Fire Station 81?

The firefighter lay bleeding at the remote station in Agua Dulce. He’d been shot several times, once through the neck. Tory Carlon moaned in pain. His assailant - a fellow firefighter at Fire Station 81- kept a semi-automatic handgun trained on the 44-year-old sprawled in the engine bay. “Payback’s a bitch, motherf-!” Jonathan Tatone said. Carlon had feared this day would come. Over the past two years, he’d been the target of Tatone’s anger.

Los Angeles Times

California attorney general faces tough questions as he touts organized retail theft crackdown

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced what he called an unprecedented agreement Tuesday with large retailers and online marketplaces aimed at cracking down on organized theft rings that resell stolen goods online. But in a state that has become notorious lately for brazen smash-and-grab thefts at stores - sometimes captured on video and replayed on nightly newscasts - the state’s top law enforcement official faced tough questioning on whether Tuesday’s agreement is enough.

Bay Area News Group

Why shoplifting has become a promising career

In May 2023, the findings of a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NFR), a century-old retail trade organization, were published. The survey was primarily comprised of senior loss prevention and security executives throughout the industry. It found that shoplifting in this country has reached new highs, and "shrink," as it is called, now amounts to nearly $95 billion annually. The survey also reported more than a 26% increase in organized retail crime (ORC) in the U.S.

Security Infowatch

Police surveillance using private security cameras in real time stirs ‘Big Brother’ fears

Building new commercial and residential projects in the city of Rialto comes with a unique condition: developers must link their security cameras to a police surveillance system that allows officers to watch their properties in real time. In theory, the system sold by a Georgia-based company called Fusus provides police with an ability to prevent and solve crime by merging public cameras with private cameras at businesses, churches and homes that agree to participate.

Orange County Register

After police photo release, L.A. city attorney tries to weaken public records law

Prompted by the release of information about thousands of Los Angeles police officers that activists posted to a public online database, City Atty. Hydee Feldstein Soto is trying to convince California lawmakers to weaken the state’s public records law. While Feldstein Soto describes her proposal as a minor tweak to the California Public Records Act, civil rights advocates say it would severely diminish the power of the bedrock state law that allows access to information held by local governments and state agencies.

Los Angeles Times

LA City Council calls for criminal investigation into migrant transportation

Members of the Los Angeles City Council were pursuing an investigation Friday into whether human trafficking and kidnapping were committed when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bused migrants from his state to L.A. Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez introduced the motion alongside her colleagues Nithya Raman, Monica Rodriguez and Hugo Soto-Martinez to direct the City Attorney's office to conduct the investigation.

City News Service

US Supreme Court to hear government appeal in credit report dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a bid by President Joe Biden's administration to shield the federal government from lawsuits over errors related to credit reports in a case involving a dispute between a Pennsylvania man and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The justices took up the USDA's appeal of a lower court's ruling that a legal doctrine called sovereign immunity does not shield the U.S. government from liability in lawsuits concerning credit reporting inaccuracies. 


A California legal battle over gas stoves stirs uncertainty for energy policies across the West

A court battle over gas stoves in California is sowing seeds of uncertainty for energy policies in the West, as cities in Washington and Oregon seek to limit the use of natural gas in new homes and buildings. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled earlier this year that a natural gas ban in Berkeley overstepped federal law, casting ripple effects across the states under the court's jurisdiction.

NW News

Los Angeles City/County

Los Angeles shows how to prepare for a crisis

Last week, Los Angeles was faced with a potential crisis when Texas bused a group of Latin American migrants from that state to the City of Angels. But the city practiced good crisis response and communications by simply being prepared. Leaving aside the politics of the issue, L.A. was smart to observe this happening to other places and prepare for it. Last year, Texas and Florida started busing asylum seekers from border states to Democratic states and so-called sanctuary cities, arguing they’re overwhelmed with migrants.


Man shot after allegedly ramming into California deputy's SUV (Video)

A suspect accused of intentionally ramming into a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department vehicle while performing dangerous stunts near a Bell Gardens casino was shot and wounded by a deputy early Thursday, officials said. The shooting was reported just after 4:30 a.m. near the intersection of Eastern Avenue and East Florence Avenue near the Parkwest Bicycle Casino.


LAPD's hiring process under fire, department accused of lowering standards

Los Angeles Police Department officers, Los Angeles City personnel and people directly involved in the LAPD recruiting and hiring process are going public for the first time with their concerns. "I have nothing to gain from this, but it's the right thing to do," says James Williams, who supervised LAPD Police Background Investigations for 20 years. Williams retired a year ago.


LAPD issues apology to LGBTQ+ community during ceremony honoring activists

A new sign placed at an intersection in downtown Los Angeles recognizes the advocacy of Cooper Do-nuts and LGBTQIA+ activist Nancy Valverde. City leaders along with LGBTQ+ activists held a special ceremony Thursday morning at the intersection of Main and 2nd streets, which will now be called "Cooper Do-nuts / Nancy Valverde Square.” But along with the tribute also came an apology on behalf of the Los Angeles Police Department.


Metro moves forward with plan to create in-house public safety department

The Metro Board of Directors on Thursday approved a motion that calls for the development of an implementation plan for an in-house public safety department. The motion, which directors hope would be presented in early 2024, instructs the CEO to prepare a comprehensive implementation plan for the board to consider, reflecting their commitment to build "a new culture" focusing on "public safety, centered on a robust multi-layered approach," according to Chair Ara Najarian. 


LA County sued for abuse in juvenile halls (Video)

Nearly 600 people are suing Los Angeles County over allegations of abuse at the county's juvenile halls. 


Oversight suggestion upsets LASD union, contract cities 

In an effort to address the allegations of racism, violence and other concerns associated with deputy gangs, Sheriff Robert Luna said Friday the nation’s largest sheriff’s department is reviewing a lengthy list of recommendations that county counsel says are necessary for reform. One policy recommendation from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Civilian Oversight Commission intended to fight deputy gangs could pose a real challenge for community policing efforts, according to the union for LASD deputies: mandatory redeployments. 

The Signal

Judge characterizes skid row housing receivership as ‘a mess’ for 1,500 tenants

In his own words, the judge was between "a rock and a hard place.” The receiver he had appointed to bring 29 dilapidated buildings up to code was drowning in debt and blaming the city of Los Angeles for his failure to borrow additional funds. An attorney for the city, which had recommended receiver Mark Adams to the court, was sniping at Adams' performance and indicated that it was speaking with possible replacements.

Los Angeles Times


Amazon's credibility plummets as paid product reviews thrive

Product reviews are critical to a product's success on Amazon. Unfortunately, unscrupulous sellers have resorted to deceptive tactics, such as paying for positive reviews to manipulate the system and mislead consumers. Consequently, many consumers fall victim to deceptive and fake product reviews on Amazon.

The Counterfeit Report

Avoid mailing your checks, experts warn. Here's what's going on with the USPS.

A surge in crimes targeting the U.S. Postal Service has some experts warning Americans against sending their checks through the mail. The USPS last month cautioned that it has seen an increase in attacks on letter carriers and mail fraud incidents, with 305 mail carriers robbed in the first half of fiscal year 2023, on pace to exceed the previous year's 412 robberies.

CBS News

Marriott faces guest lawsuit over ‘junk fees’ at Los Angeles hotels

Nobody likes those random extra fees that go by various names - resort fees, destination fees, amenity fees or urban fees, just to mention a few of the monikers - that get tacked onto nightly hotel room rates. Some don’t like it so much that they’re willing to file a lawsuit against the world’s largest hotel company.

The Points Guy


LAPD officer accused of assaulting man in bathroom of Upland bar

A Los Angeles Police Department officer was arrested after allegedly assaulting a man inside the restroom of an Upland bar Wednesday, authorities said. The incident occurred around 2:20 p.m. at a bar in the 1600 block of North Mountain Avenue, Upland police Lt. Moe Duran told KTLA. Arthur Contreras, 55, allegedly assaulted the victim in the restroom. The victim and other witnesses then followed Contreras until police arrived and took him into custody, Duran said.


Woman killed by hit-and-run driver performing street stunts in Long Beach

A suspect remains at large after a woman was killed by a driver performing street stunts in Long Beach on Friday. Officers responded to a crash near Willow Street and Caspian Avenue shortly before 11 p.m. When police arrived, they found a woman had been ejected from a Chevrolet Silverado. Despite lifesaving measures, she was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation revealed the victim was traveling westbound on Willow Street when a suspect in an SUV was performing donuts in the middle of the intersection.


Tom Petty's family files police report over 'stolen' belongings put up for auction

Los Angeles police are investigating grand theft over a number of items belonging to the late Tom Petty. Earlier this year, several pieces of his wardrobe appeared in an auction lot at RR Auction, including hats, shoes, and jackets that hardcore fans would surely recognize. Unfortunately, according to the rocker's family, the clothing was allegedly stolen prior to being put up for auction.


Dramatic spike in burglaries terrorizes Encino residents, who want greater accountability

A dramatic spike in burglaries has Encino-area residents fearful to leave their homes, for if they do, it could be ransacked. According to the LAPD, there have been more than 400 burglaries in the Encino area in the past 12 months. And, 2022 had the highest number of burglaries in the area in at least a decade. It is unclear if the string of burglaries are related, but the trend has gotten the attention of residents, who live in constant fear that their home is next.



Kentucky prosecutors seek death penalty in alleged murder-for-hire of CHP captain's husband

Kentucky prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a man accused in a murder-for-hire investigation involving a California Highway Patrol captain. Thomas O’Donnell is accused of conspiring with CHP Captain Julie Harding to kill her husband, Michael Harding, according to documents filed on April 12 in Cumberland County Circuit Court. O’Donnell, a 60-year-old from Napa, was arrested at the Sacramento International Airport on Dec. 8 on suspicion of killing Michael Harding.

ABC10 Sacramento

He helped arrest her and helped bail her out: Deputy out after affair with jail inmate

A little before noon on Dec. 30, 2021, two off-duty Ventura County sheriff’s deputies were having a late breakfast at Two Trees Restaurant and Taps in East Ventura when they saw a man and a woman walk in together. It was raining, and the couple was sharing an umbrella, according to security camera footage later reviewed by sheriff's detectives. The deputies recognized the man, a colleague named Tyler Ebell.

Ventura County Star

Lawyer Eastman faces a disciplinary hearing over a plot to keep Trump in power after his 2020 loss

Attorney John Eastman, the architect of a legal strategy aimed at keeping former President Donald Trump in power, concocted a baseless theory and made false claims of fraud in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election, a prosecutor said Tuesday in arguing that Eastman be disbarred. Eastman’s attorney countered that his client never intended to steal the election, but was considering ways to delay electoral-vote counting so states could investigate allegations of voting improprieties.


America’s biggest counties prepare for major fights over local prosecutors

Voters in Northern Virginia will pass judgment on a trio of progressive prosecutors in Democratic primaries Tuesday - part of a flood of district attorney elections over the next two years in some of the nation’s most populous counties. For years, local prosecutor races were characterized by a sleepy noncompetitiveness, with entrenched incumbents typically winning term after term.

NBC News

The NYPD Commissioner hasn’t said why she quit. A fiery speech about sexism may provide some clues.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell gave an impassioned speech before hundreds of female police officers, months before she announced her resignation, laying bare her professional battles with sexism during her time in the Adams administration. Speaking at a November 2022 event for the Police Women's Endowment Association, Sewell, the first woman to hold the post, framed her remarks as a letter to the “second woman to be the New York City police commissioner,” and referred to being “second-guessed” and portrayed as “difficult.”


US government sued for allegedly seizing $100,000,000 in cash, gold and jewelry from citizens without explanation

The US government won’t specify why it abruptly seized more than $100 million from people’s safety deposit boxes in California, according to a new lawsuit. The nonprofit Institute for Justice says it’s seeking to halt forfeiture proceedings for a group of citizens who’ve had their assets confiscated by the FBI with little to no explanation.

Daily Hodl

U.S. sanctions Mexico-based migrant smuggling group

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions Friday on a transnational human smuggling organization operating at the U.S.-Mexico border. “The practice of human smuggling and the facilitation of fraudulent documentation undermines the U.S. asylum system, damaging public confidence in the vetting process and jeopardizing access to protection for vulnerable persons fleeing conflict, famine and persecution,” the department said in a press release.

Courthouse News Service

Minneapolis police investigating unauthorized release of transit video showing crash that killed 5

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara said his department is investigating the unauthorized release of Metro Transit video showing the collision late Friday that killed five people in one of the vehicles. Five young women who had just left Karmel Mall after having henna applied for a friend's wedding were killed when driver Derrick John Thompson, 27, of Brooklyn Park, ran a red light and struck their car.

Star Tribune

Drugs killing more than homicides, suicides, natural disease combined after British Columbia decriminalization

Half a year after the Canadian province of British Columbia decriminalized a wide range of hard drugs, including fentanyl, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for the majority of Canadians in the region. In a press release on Monday, the office of Public Safety and Solicitor General said that 1,018 British Columbians were "lost" to drug overdoses between January and May, which represents a 2.9% increase since the same time last year. 

Fox News


Ex LASD deputy gets 13 years in prison for driving 116 mph, killing passenger in off-duty crash

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who pleaded no contest to charges stemming from an off-duty crash in Torrance that killed his 23-year-old passenger and seriously injured two other people in the vehicle was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison. Superior Court Judge Tony Cho ordered Daniel Manuel Auner, 25, to be immediately taken into custody after the sentencing, and he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

City News Service

Off-duty LAPD cop convicted of raping a woman

On Thursday, a jury convicted a Los Angeles Police Department officer for forcibly raping a woman in 2015. "Today, justice has been served for one of the victims of a heinous crime committed by a police officer who was entrusted with protecting and serving our community," District Attorney George Gascón said. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office did not divulge much information on the case other than the officer's name and that he "drove the victim to a location and raped her" while he was off-duty.


A man convicted in killing of two women was released the same day he was sentenced for the crime

A man convicted of killing two women in a brutal slaying in Ojai Valley was sentenced - and then freed the same day - following a Tuesday morning hearing in Ventura County Superior Court. Shawn Shirck, 29, was quickly identified as the prime suspect and arrested hours after deputies found the bodies of Margaret Dahl, 59, and her mother Phyllis Porter, 82, who had both been stabbed to death, on Aug. 24, 2019, in Oak View.

Los Angeles Times

Hunter Biden to plead guilty to two tax charges, resolve federal gun violation: DOJ

Hunter Biden agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of tax evasion in federal court in Delaware and participate in a pretrial program for a firearm offense, after a multi-year investigation into his tax matters, a case with implications for President Joe Biden's reelection campaign and dealings with congressional Republicans. U.S. Attorney David Weiss filed a letter in federal court Tuesday citing the charges and the plea agreement. 

USA Today

Articles of Interest

Government of Mexico hoping to recover money in corrupt Garcia Luna case

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reported that the Government of Mexico is hoping to recover money in the Garcia Luna case. López Obrador says Mexico is hoping to recover some of the $650 million USD that has come to light. “They raised a lot of money with contracts that were made with the federal government, public money that is estimated at around $650 million, and all that money was invested in Florida, in apartments, in houses, in yachts,” he said.

Riviera Maya News

Tory Lanez’s first attorney advised him against blaming Kelsey Harris for shooting Megan Thee Stallion: Report

The former attorneys of Tory Lanez advised him against blaming Kelsey Harris for the shooting of Megan Thee Stallion. A new report from Legal Affairs & Trials with Meghann Cuniff reveals newly unsealed communication between Lanez and his former attorney, Shawn Holley. Holley advised him against using the “Kelsie defense.” “As we discussed on Saturday, I am not comfortable advancing the ‘Kelsie Defense’', primarily because I don’t find it to be a viable strategy,” Holley told Lanez via e-mail on Nov. 21 2022.



Pro per’s ignorance of how to proceed excuses long delay

Ignorance of the law was an excuse, the Court of Appeal for this district has held, for a woman’s eight-year delay between learning in 2013 that her then-husband had previously concealed the existence of his pension and her bringing a motion to be awarded her share of that asset. “[T]he family court was not compelled to apply the defense of laches as a matter of law” on the record before it, Justice Anne H. Egerton of Div. Three said in an unpublished opinion, filed Wednesday.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

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