Courts, Rulings & Lawsuits

Judge halts cash bail for low-level LA County cases

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge issued a stinging rebuke of cash bail as a way for local officials to jail people accused of crimes before they’ve actually been charged in a wide-ranging preliminary injunction handed down Tuesday, May 16. In the 64-page ruling, Judge Lawrence Riff said he was granting the preliminary injunction halting the county’s cash bail system to six plaintiffs suing after they were all arrested and held in jail for five days because they could not afford their bail amounts.

Los Angeles Daily News

Ninth Circuit revives lawsuit alleging coerced confession

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered reinstatement of a civil rights action by a man who claims that a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy pressured him into making a false confession to sexual penetration by a foreign object, with the majority of a three-judge panel holding that the District Court improperly excluded testimony by a coerced-confessions expert.

Metropolitan New-Enterprise

Appeals court revives lawsuit challenging California district attorney’s DNA collection program

An appellate court has revived a lawsuit challenging the Orange County district attorney’s unregulated DNA program, which offers leniency to low-level defendants who “volunteer” to give their genetic material. The suit by two professors at UC Irvine, was rejected earlier on a technicality by a lower court, but revived Tuesday, April 11, by a three-member panel of the Fourth District Court of Appeal.

Southern California News Group

U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision on right to bear arms doesn’t apply to ex-felons

Div. Two of the Fourth District Court of Appeal held on Friday that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year invalidating a New York statute that limited permits for carrying firearms in public to those who had demonstrated “proper cause” does not render invalid a conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The nation’s high court on June 23, 2022, held in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen that “the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.” 

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Amazon snubs federal court order and rejects brand owner counterfeit complaints

Amazon presents itself as a proactive fighter against counterfeits and fraud, claiming to prioritize customer trust. However, a closer look reveals a disturbing truth: Amazon's actions demonstrate a consistent pattern of deception, inaction, and harm inflicted on brand owners and consumers. Despite numerous complaints from brand owners, Amazon consistently ignores their concerns, promotes counterfeit products, and evades accountability for fraudulent and replica merchandise.

The Counterfeit Report

Crowd management company not liable for man’s beating

The company that provides crowd management services at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is not liable to a fan who was injured by family members of a Rams player after the fan engaged in a verbal altercation with them, the Court of Appeal has held, saying that even if the company had adopted precautionary measures the plaintiff asserts it should have, he would probably, nonetheless, have been assaulted by those he had riled. Presiding Justice Maria E. Stratton of this district’s Div. Eight authored the opinion.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Ninth Circuit upholds Vaccine Mandate, creating circuit split which leads to future uncertainty of executive orders issued under the Procurement Act

On April 19, 2023, the Ninth Circuit reversed a permanent injunction against the President's Vaccine Mandate, creating a circuit split with potentially broader implications on the interpretation of a President's authority under the Procurement Act.1 Previous circuits upheld injunctions against the Vaccine Mandate in part because the courts found it was an abuse of the President's authority under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (“Procurement Act”), 40 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.2 


Supreme Court to consider when lawmakers out of the majority can sue for executive branch records in Trump hotel dispute

The Supreme Court granted a request from the Biden administration to review a federal appeals court decision that allows for a handful of members of Congress to sue a government agency for records related to a Washington, DC, hotel once partly owned by former President Donald Trump - even if they don’t have enough votes to issue a subpoena. The case raises questions about when members of Congress - and not a full committee - have the legal right to sue an executive agency for documents under a specific federal law, Section 2954.


U.S. Supreme Court allows death row inmate's lawsuit after failed execution

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed a challenge by an Alabama death row inmate who sued months before surviving a botched execution claiming that the state's troubled lethal injection process would violate constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment. In an unusual case that has returned to the justices because the execution of convicted murderer Kenneth Smith failed, they turned away an appeal by Alabama officials of a lower court's decision to revive his lawsuit seeking to block the state from putting him to death through lethal injection.



Former LAPD officer charged with lewd acts on a child

A former Los Angeles Police Department officer was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on charges of committing lewd acts on four young boys, and sheriff’s officials put out a call for any possible additional victims to come forward. Paul Razo, 46, was arrested Wednesday, five days after he was charged by prosecutors with eight counts of lewd acts on a child, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

City News Service

Chicago gang-affiliated suspects charged in ‘ambush-style attack’ that left 3 women dead near Beverly Hills

Three gang-affiliated men from Chicago have been charged with murder in the "ambush-style" shooting deaths of three women in late January in an area just north of Beverly Hills in Southern California, police announced Friday. Dejean Thompkins, 28, and Dontae Williams, 22, were both arrested in Chicago and Daries Stanford, 28, was arrested in New York over the past few weeks. All three are awaiting extradition to Los Angeles, the LAPD said. 

Fox News

Danny Masterson used drugging, Scientology to get away with rape, prosecutor says

Danny Masterson drugged women’s drinks so he could rape them, then relied on his prominence in the Church of Scientology to avoid consequences for years, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday in closing arguments at the actor’s trial. “The defendant drugs his victims to gain control. He does this to take away his victims’ ability to consent,” Deputy District Attorney Ariel Anson told the jury of seven men and five women. 


Who were Alexander Hernandez’s victims? Where is the Village Killer now?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death: City of Angels’ chronicles Alexander Hernandez’s murderous spree during a series of drive-by shootings in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area between March and August 2014. According to court documents, he killed five people while injuring seven more and mercilessly shot down two dogs. 

The Cinemaholic


California city passes bill to permanently seize cars caught in sideshows

A suburb of Los Angles will combat sideshows - or street takeovers - with some of the most stringent laws in the United States. Pico Rivera’s City Council on Tuesday initially passed a local ordinance allowing police to permanently confiscate vehicles used in illegal shows or street racing. Spectators within 500 feet of the sideshows can be fined up to $2,000 for watching the event, or even preparing for one. The new ordinance may become permanent in 30 days.

The Drive

L.A. Times, media coalition oppose L.A. lawsuit to claw back police photos from journalist

A coalition of media organizations including the Los Angeles Times threw its support Wednesday behind a local journalist and a group of local activists who were sued by the city of Los Angeles last month after publishing photographs of LAPD officers that the city itself had provided. Joining a chorus of constitutional and media rights scholars, the media coalition denounced the city's lawsuit against Knock LA journalist Ben Camacho and the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition as a blatant violation of their 1st Amendment rights and a dangerous attack on press freedoms more broadly.

Los Angeles Times

City had right to get rid of its statue of Father Serra

The City of Ventura acted within its rights in stripping a statue of Saint Junípero Serra of its historical-landmark status, prying it from its moorings in front of the city hall, and carting it off, Div. Six of the Court of Appeal for this district has held, in an opinion that avoids any discussion of the controversy surrounding the priest long hailed as “The Father of the California Missions” but recently accused of committing “cultural genocide.”

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Who should get to see police drone video footage? Publisher challenging Chula Vista takes public records suit to appeals court

Chula Vista was at the forefront of the national debate over the use of drones in local policing even before 2021, when it became the first American city authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to launch the surveillance devices from anywhere within its borders. Now the Chula Vista Police Department’s aerial drone program is at the center of a legal debate over the video footage it generates.

San Diego Union-Tribune

Free speech or federal crime? Protesters are still marching outside conservative Supreme Court justices’ homes

As the group of about a dozen protesters rounded the corner and approached Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house on a leafy suburban street, the two deputy U.S. marshals on guard watched unmoved from their perch in the driveway. One whispered into his radio. The other took a sip from a coffee cup. The protesters, who had gathered on the evening of May 4, walked past the house singing “I went down to the rich man’s house and took back what he stole from me.”

NBC News

Two federal judges require the county fulfill its obligations to the mentally ill

After decades of failing to fulfill its Constitutional obligations to those seriously mentally ill inmates residing in LA jails, the Department of Justice (DOJ) forced the county to enter into a Federal Consent Decree in 2015. Since then, the DOJ has attempted to secure compliance with those Provisions of the Decree requiring adequate housing and treatment of this segment of the jail population.

Joseph P. Charney

Here's the latest in the suit against the Dodgers

Attorneys for a man suing the Dodgers for alleged lax security that caused him to be beaten by a pair of patrons inside Dodger Stadium in 2018 want to tell jurors about the 2011 beating of Bryan Stow, despite opposition from the Dodgers' lawyers. Plaintiff Milton Flores alleges the team provided inadequate security and a lack of uniformed Los Angeles police officers the night he was assailed by two other men inside Dodger Stadium during an extra-inning playoff game. 

94.7 The Wave

Elon Musk loses bid to end SEC 'muzzle' over tweets

A federal appeals court on Monday rejected Elon Musk's bid to modify or end his 2018 securities fraud settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that required a Tesla Inc lawyer to approve some of his tweets in advance. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan rejected Musk's claim that the SEC exploited his consent decree to conduct bad-faith, harassing investigations that violated his First Amendment free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution.


Los Angeles City/County

DWP misconduct continued in shadow of FBI probe: Whistleblower (Video)

New legal claim alleges wrongdoing at the LA Department of Water and Power continued - even while FBI agents were investigating bribery schemes involving a former general manager. Eric Leonard reports May 16, 2023.


West Hollywood council votes to add 4 LASD deputies in aftermath of high-profile crimes

Amid heightened concerns over safety in West Hollywood, the City Council voted Monday to hire four additional L.A. County Sheriff's Department deputies. The vote came in the wake of several incidents in the past month, including an armed robbery that was caught on surveillance video outside a local restaurant. The manager of that restaurant spoke at the City Council meeting Monday evening.


Downtown LA jail adds 16 beds amid pressure to ease overcrowding (Video)

Sixteen new treatment beds will be added to a downtown LA jail as a federal judge pressures the county to ease overcrowding. Eric Leonard reports May 17, 2023.


Man dies after being shot by own gun during traffic stop in South Los Angeles: LAPD

A man is dead after he was struck by fire from his own gun during a struggle with police in a traffic stop in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood of South Los Angeles Friday night, officials said. The unidentified man was pulled over by the Los Angeles Police Department near East 74th Street and South Central Avenue at about 10:30 p.m., according to Officer Jader Chavez. During the traffic stop, officers spotted a gun in the vehicle, Chavez said.


LAPD detective rips city's 'reckless' proposal to use unarmed civilians to enforce traffic violations

Los Angeles may soon be enlisting unarmed civilians to enforce traffic violations as the number of traffic deaths on L.A. city streets hits a two-decade high. An LAPD detective slammed the "reckless" city draft proposal obtained by the L.A. Times that would sideline the Los Angeles Police Department and potentially risk the lives of civilians. "I don't understand who comes up with these ideas, but it's really a subtle form of still defunding the police," Detective Jamie McBride said on "Fox & Friends" Friday. "This is reckless behavior."

Fox News

Investigation into LA County deputy's killing of Andres Guardado ‘inadequate,' says oversight panel

Members of an oversight board expressed some astonishment that the former LA County Sheriff's Department deputy who killed Andres Guardado was never asked whether or not he was a member of a deputy clique or gang, or aspired to become a member before the ex-deputy was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the shooting.


Inspector General seeks to identify membership in deputy gangs

Los Angeles County Inspector General Max Huntsmen sent letters to 35 sheriff’s deputies Friday directing them to identify members of the alleged Banditos and Executioners deputy gangs. Huntsman told Spectrum News 1 he believes the deputies are witnesses to deputy gang activity inside the LA County Sheriff’s Department and have sufficient evidence to overcome any legal challenge.

Spectrum News1


Target expects profits to take $1.3B hit from ‘theft and organized crime’

Crime-battered retail giant Target said it expects to suffer as much as a $1.3 billion hit to its bottom line because of “theft and organized crime,” according to the company’s first-quarter earnings report released Wednesday. The Minneapolis-based chain said its profit will be squeezed by “$500 million more than what we saw last year” - when the company lost as much as $800 million from “inventory shrink.” 

New York Post

String of recent burglaries in Orange County tied to international crime ring, DA says

More than 140 defendants have been charged with various types of burglaries and robberies in Orange County over the past year and some recent cases are now being tied to an international crime ring. Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and law enforcement officials held a press conference on the announcement in Santa Ana Wednesday.


A large proportion of crime goes unsolved in California

Amid widespread concerns about crime and the efficacy of the police, what do we know about how many crimes are solved across California? To get at that question, researchers use a measure called the clearance rate - the share of reported crimes for which police make an arrest and refer the arrestee to prosecution. We find that today, less than half of violent crimes in California are cleared. For property crimes, only one in ten reported incidents leads to an arrest.



Riverside County sheriff's deputy killed during traffic collision

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department announced the death of one of its deputies killed in the line of duty Saturday. In a statement from the department, they identified the deputy as 27-year-old Brett Harris, who was assigned to the Hemet Sheriff's Station and served for four years. He was involved in an on-duty traffic accident. Harris was responding to a call on Friday when he suffered serious injuries from a crash. His injuries included a "catastrophic brain injury."


Department of Homeland Security faces use of force lawsuit after downtown Los Angeles protest

Two protestors who were arrested while demonstrating in downtown Los Angeles against immigration laws plan to sue the U.S. Department of Homeland Security alleging their civil rights were violated. The couple was organizing outside the federal building on May 9, and some of the tense moments were caught on camera. The plaintiffs, Edin Enamorado and his girlfriend Wendy Lujan, allege the protest hadn’t even started and they were protecting a reporter who was told by security to move their car.


San Francisco Democrat under fire for 'ridiculous' proposal to restrict gun use by security guards

One San Francisco Democrat garnered stark backlash after proposing a law that would ban security guards from drawing their weapons for property crimes at a time when retailers and residents alike are fleeing the city over public safety concerns. Former San Francisco police officer Joel Aylworth slammed San Francisco's District 5 County Supervisor Dean Preston for the proposal during "Fox & Friends First," calling the idea "ridiculous" as crime continues to run rampant. 

Fox News

Britain's Bill Gates' finally extradited to California to face charges in 'one of the largest frauds ever prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice’

The British technology tycoon Mike Lynch, once dubbed "Britain's Bill Gates", has been extradited to the US to face 17 criminal charges after a years-long fight. Lynch is the founder of the software company Autonomy, which was sold to Hewlett-Packard for $11bn in 2011. Lynch left Autonomy in 2012, and in the same year HP wrote down the value of the company by $8.8bn.

PC Gamer


Elizabeth Holmes loses latest bid to avoid prison and gets hit with $452 million restitution bill

Disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes appears to be soon bound for prison after an appeals court Tuesday rejected her bid to remain free while she tries to overturn her conviction in a blood-testing hoax that brought her fleeting fame and fortune. In another ruling issued late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila ordered Holmes to pay $452 million in restitution to the victims of her crimes.


Jury recommends death for man who brutally murdered wife, 2 kids, and niece in family home

A California jury this week found that a 62-year-old man who brutally killed four members of his own family inside of the home they shared together should be executed for his crimes. Jurors on Friday returned a verdict of death for Salvador Vasquez-Oliva for the 2017 slayings of his wife, 45-year-old Angelique Vasquez; their two young children, 14-year-old Mia and 11-year-old Alvin Vasquez; and his niece, 21-year-old Ashley Coleman, authorities announced.

Law & Crime

Two plead not guilty to alleged attack after Elton John concert

Two men pleaded not guilty on Monday to beating a man in a scrum in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after an Elton John concert last November, with defense attorneys saying in court they expected that their clients are exonerated. Reece Hopkin, 38, and Chad Reeves, 42, are each charged with one count of grievous bodily harm. Hopkin also faces one count of vandalism or destruction of property, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.


18-year old admits to killing Pop Smoke in home invasion robbery

In a shocking revelation, an 18-year-old defendant, whose identity remains undisclosed, has admitted to the murder of Pop Smoke. The defendant, who was 15 years old at the time of the crime, recently confessed to a juvenile court petition charging him with first-degree murder. The incident occurred during a court date in Los Angeles on May 12, where the late Brooklyn rapper tragically lost his life. 


Inland Empire man sentenced to 2½ years in federal prison for BB gun attacks on Planned Parenthood Clinic and firearm offense

A San Bernardino County man was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison for firing BB guns at a Planned Parenthood facility in Pasadena nearly a dozen times and for illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition. Richard Royden Chamberlin, 53, who currently resides in Ontario, but previously maintained a residence in Altadena, was sentenced by United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald, who also ordered him to pay $42,663 in restitution. 

U.S. Attorney’s Office Press Release


How to find out if your car is collecting your personal information

New cars are computers on wheels. The average vehicle nowadays has over 1,400 microchips in it. Because your car is connected, it can also collect a lot of data about you. Your car is like your phone, computer, or tablet now - always listening. Here’s how to stop Big Tech from listening in. There’s also stalkerware to worry about. Take steps to spot and block these dangerous spy apps. What is your vehicle collecting? A new online tool shows all the info your car has on you.

New York Post

Articles of Interest

LAUSD faces possible liability for injury to student accidentally shot by classmate

The Court of Appeal for this district yesterday ordered reinstatement of an action brought on behalf of a student at a middle school who was accidentally shot in the head when a loaded gun brought into class by another student discharged, apparently while in her backpack, reversing a summary judgment in favor of defendant Los Angeles Unified School District.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Judge advances TikTok moderators’ suit over harm from disturbing content

TikTok cannot escape claims that its software may have exacerbated harm to contract content moderators, who spent many hours viewing disturbing content, including child pornography. In a lawsuit brought against the social media app’s parent company ByteDance, the moderators say the company did not adopt reasonable measures to mitigate harm from having to watch disturbing content. 

Courthouse News Service

Special counsel John Durham releases report on Trump-Russia probe

Special counsel John Durham released his final report on Monday in which he casts doubt about the FBI’s decision to launch a full investigation into connections between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Here are the takeaways from the special counsel’s report: Durham finds FBI rushed to investigate Trump: The special counsel’s office “conducted more than 480 interviews,” and “obtained and reviewed more than one million documents consisting of more than six million pages,” while also issuing 190 grand jury subpoenas, according to the report.


The progressive take over of big cities is nearly complete

Just over a month after Brandon Johnson was elected mayor of Chicago, another Democrat endorsed by Bernie Sanders has a chance to govern a major American city. Philadelphia’s Helen Gym, a former city councilwoman who has also secured the support of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, is a top contender in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.


Why Smartmatic's case against Fox News is even stronger than Dominion’s

Last month, Fox News agreed to pay an eye-popping $787.5 million sum to settle a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems. This allowed the network to avoid a trial that would have further highlighted its role in pushing the story that Dominion had helped Biden steal the election, all the while knowing it was a flat-out lie. But Fox isn’t off the hook yet.

Public Notice

Brett Favre drops defamation lawsuit against Pat McAfee following public apology

Brett Favre has withdrawn his lawsuit against former NFL punter and current sports broadcaster Pat McAfee. McAfee announced the reversal on his popular YouTube show saying “As I confirmed in my court papers and I repeat here: my statements expressed in comedic style were based solely on public information and allegations,” McAfee continued “I am pleased to report that based solely on me again clarifying these points now, with no settlements paid, Brett is withdrawing his suit against me.”

Daily Caller

California reparations panel wants to give state agency veto power over local real estate decisions

California's reparations task force is calling for the state legislature to require all cities and counties with allegedly segregated neighborhoods to submit all their real estate ordinances to a state agency for approval based on whether they maintain or lessen "residential racial segregation.” The task force, created by state legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020, formally approved last weekend its final recommendations to the California Legislature, which will decide whether to enact the measures and send them to the governor's desk to be signed into law.

Fox News


Meet San Quentin State Prison's newest audio storytellers

We're proud to introduce the newest group of audio storytellers from San Quentin State prison. For over a decade, KALW has aired dozens of pieces from California prisons through our program, Uncuffed. Today, we're going to add to that number with an introduction to this newest class. Greg Eskridge, Tim Hicks, Ryan Pagan, Juan Moreno Haines, Steve Brooks, Anthony Caravahlo, and Brian Asey are an impressive group made up of award-winning producers, writers, sports-editors, and filmmakers.



Thousands of Ventura County retirees face pension cuts

Thousands of County of Ventura retirees may face pension cuts as local officials apply new rules to comply with a 2020 court decision. The list includes those who retired nearly a decade ago. Some may start getting smaller monthly payments in a matter of months. Before that happens, the Ventura County Employees' Retirement Association says it will notify those affected about changes. The cuts are based on a California Supreme Court decision that says some compensation should not be counted toward an employee's pension.

Ventura County Star

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