Courts, Rulings & Lawsuits

Local newspaper releases interview notes at the order of 5th District Court of Appeal

The Bakersfield Californian has released previously unpublished notes from a jailhouse interview with a criminal defendant after an order from the 5th District Court of Appeal. The notes were from a jailhouse interview with Sebastian Parra who is charged alongside Robert Pernell Roberts in the alleged shooting death of Benny Alcala junior in August of last year in southwest Bakersfield.


D.A.’s office withheld decision in excessive force case to affect sheriff’s race, lawsuit says

A close advisor to Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón allegedly delayed announcing the decision not to file criminal charges in a high-profile excessive force case because of its potential effect on then-Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s reelection bid, according to a lawsuit filed late Friday.

Los Angeles Times

A California woman says car honking is 'the sound of democracy in action' and is taking her free speech case to the US Supreme Court

Is honking your car horn free speech or just obnoxious? A woman in California says it's the former and plans to take her case to the US Supreme Court. Police gave Susan Porter a ticket in 2017 after she honked her car horn 17 times while driving by a protest outside Rep. Darrell Issa's office, according to the National Constitution Center, a nonprofit encouraging education and debate about the US Constitution.


Tentative settlement reached in former Baldwin Park school police chief’s discrimination lawsuit

A tentative settlement has been reached in what remained of a lawsuit brought by a former Baldwin Park Unified School District police chief who alleged she was subjected to disparate treatment after disclosing in 2015 that she is gay. Plaintiff Jill Poe was terminated in 2021 when the district disbanded its police department.

City News Service

California can share gun data over owners’ privacy objections

California can continue to provide identifying information about gun owners to a research center, a state appeals court ruled, discarding a preliminary injunction favored by gun rights groups because the trial court didn’t consider the state’s interest in researching gun violence.

Bloomberg Law

Federal appeals court strikes Maryland handgun rule

A federal appeals court struck down part of Maryland’s laws regulating handguns Tuesday, overturning a requirement to obtain a handgun license before purchasing a firearm. In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the Virginia-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Maryland cannot add more regulations for acquiring handguns than for other weapons. The court said the law was unenforceable in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling last year.

The Hill

Miranda rights don't apply to warrant-backed immigration arrests, court rules

A U.S. appeals court on Friday declined to extend Miranda rights to non-citizens facing deportation when immigration authorities have obtained a warrant to arrest them, though one judge said the court should revisit the issue. A unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that because deportation proceedings are civil and not criminal, non-citizens are not entitled to Miranda warnings typically recited by police during a criminal arrest regardless of whether a warrant is involved.


Convicted pimp ordered to repay former prostitute her earnings

A convicted pimp is on the hook for repaying his former prostitute as much as $304,500 in earnings he took from her, a California appellate court ruled. In an unanimous opinion Friday, the San Francisco-based First Appellate District overturned a trial judge who had denied the former prostitute, identified as H.B., restitution for the work she was forced to do for her pimp Lamar Deshawn Hall.

Courthouse News Service

Gascón-recall suit still being argued as primary nears 

A lawsuit seeking to force a recall election for District Attorney George Gascón is still working its way through the court, according to a representative for the group. The recall group’s spokesman called the legal arguments by the DA and L.A. County registrar’s offices “delay tactics.” They haven’t stopped the DA’s reelection bid with his primary just a few months away. 

The Signal

Tesla didn’t squelch United Auto Workers message when it cracked down on T-shirts, court says

Automaker Tesla did not infringe on its workers’ rights to unionize when it ordered employees at a California assembly plant to stop wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the United Auto Workers logo, a federal appeals court has ruled. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a 3-2 decision issued last year by the National Labor Relations Board, which had said Tesla couldn’t prohibit union attire.


Federal appeals court rules private plaintiffs can't sue in blow to Voting Rights Act

A divided federal appeals court on Monday ruled that private individuals and groups such as the NAACP do not have the ability to sue under a key section of the federal Voting Rights Act, a decision that contradicts decades of precedent and could further erode protections under the landmark 1965 law.

CBS News


Married ex-Tustin police officers charged with workers’ compensation fraud

Two married former Tustin police officers have been accused of workers’ compensation fraud after they allegedly took part in mountain biking, boating, international scuba diving trips and home repair projects despite claiming to be disabled. Kendal Hurd, 40, and her husband Kyle Hurd, 38, have both been charged with multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, as well as perjury and attempted perjury, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Orange County Register

DA candidates come to club meeting for intensive debate

An expansive field of candidates for the role of Los Angeles County District Attorney squared off in a Nov. 15 debate held at the Santa Monica Public Library. Hosted by the Santa Monica Democratic Club for its November meeting, incumbent District Attorney George Gascón and seven challengers took part in lengthy discussion about a host of hot-button issues, including balancing reform and punishment tactics as DA and the recently-implemented Zero Bail system in the county.

Santa Monica Daily Press

Judge rules rapper A$AP Rocky must stand trial on felony charges he fired gun at former friend

A Los Angeles judge found Monday that there is enough evidence for A$AP Rocky to stand trial for allegations that he fired a gun at a former friend and collaborator outside a Hollywood hotel in 2021. Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar made the ruling at at a preliminary hearing, after hearing roughly a day and a half of testimony. Rocky has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.


Man charged with beating woman to death with fire extinguisher, leaving her body at construction site

A California bartender has been arrested and charged with special circumstances murder in the case of a woman allegedly beaten to death with a fire extinguisher, authorities say. On November 12, police responded to a report of a dead woman found in a secluded location in Laguna Beach. The Orange County Sheriff Coroner's Division later identified the body as 27-year-old Tatum Goodwin of San Clemente, Laguna Beach police said in a statement.

Oxygen True Crime

Los Angeles City/County

Hahn ‘outraged’ as L.A. County fire foundation collected donations despite fundraising ban

Los Angeles County supervisors requested an investigation Tuesday into the Los Angeles County Fire Department Foundation after learning that the charity, created to financially support the county Fire Department, may have collected donations months after the state barred it from fundraising. On March 10, the California Department of Justice, which regulates charities, informed the foundation by mail that it had not submitted a routine annual financial form for 2021. 

Los Angeles Times

Highway patrol officer fatally shoots man on Southern California interstate

A California Highway Patrol officer fatally shot a man during a scuffle on a closed interstate Sunday, officials said, in a disturbing confrontation that appeared to be recorded by a bystander. The shooting happened about on a section of Interstate 105 in the Southern California community of Lynwood, according to a statement from California Attorney General Rob Bonta, whose office is investigating the confrontation.

NBC News

Did a 2018 memo outlining potential freeway fire hazards get ignored?

In the wake of the 10 Freeway fire, KCAL News obtained a 2018 memo outlining potential hazards from flammable materials stored underneath highways. The memo stems from a destructive blaze triggered by PVC pipes stored underneath the I-85 Freeway in Atlanta which caused it to collapse in March 2017. For two months, authorities shut down a portion of the freeway as the National Transportation Safety Bureau investigated the fire. 


LAPD could soon recycle 97 RVs, clearing years-long backlog

Los Angeles officials hoping to clear a years-long backlog of dilapidated recreational vehicles impounded from city streets believe they’ve found a recycler to take on the task, and quickly. The L.A. Police Commission this week approved a $250,000 contract with SA Recycling to process 97 RVs taking up space at the city’s official police garages and any new ones they impound over the next two years.

Los Angeles Daily News

LA County wants to compensate incarcerated people caring for peers living with mental illnesses

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors threw additional support this week behind a program in which incarcerated people volunteer to care for peers living with a mental illness behind bars. Since 2018, incarcerated peer caregivers - or mental health assistants, as they’re called - have worked to assist people living with serious mental illness inside L.A. County jails.


Metro’s in-house police plan faces scrutiny from Sheriff Luna, transit safety group

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna has pushed back against a concept in which LA Metro would start its own in-house police department, citing his concerns over high start-up costs, finding qualified officers, and decreasing law enforcement services on the Metro system. The issues raised by Luna were brought out on Monday, Nov. 13 at a meeting of Metro’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). 

Los Angeles Daily News

Former workers sue LA City over vaccine mandate

In August 2021, FOX 11 reported on the air that, the LA City Council unanimously approved an ordinance requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all city employees except for those with medical or religious exemptions. The Mayor at the time, Eric Garcetti, said that any city employee who refused to get vaccinated by December 18 of that year should be prepared to lose their job.



Sacramento County Sheriff says CRA president's stance on retail theft solutions is ‘inconsistent'

Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper released a letter Thursday accusing the California Retailers Association (CRA) of misleading statements about fixing Prop 47. His letter addressed to his constituents begins with, "The California Retailers Association (CRA) has made several misleading and inconsistent statements regarding a pending ballot initiative to address California’s retail theft crisis."


California voters ‘duped’ by reform plan that sparked shoplifting crisis: sheriff

Rampant shoplifting in California’s capital has surpassed "crisis level," according to the outspoken sheriff of Sacramento County. "It is way beyond crisis level," Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper told Fox News Digital in a Zoom interview Thursday about shoplifting. Cooper took the internet by storm earlier this month when he said in an X post that Target leaders prevented deputies from thwarting shoplifting incidents despite the store requesting help to stymie rampant retail crime. 

Fox Business

Under attack at his home, he fired his concealed handgun. So why was his gun permit suspended?

Two armed men in masks charged at Vince Ricci just as he was walking to his front door, one pointing a handgun at his chest. Video shows Ricci dropping his keys and a to-go drink and, in seconds, pulling a handgun from his waist and shooting as the men ran away. In interviews and videos, he said he wasn’t just trying to protect himself but also his wife and 5-month-old daughter, who were inside the house.

Los Angeles Times

Countless hours of LAPD body camera videos go unwatched. Could AI be the answer?

On any given day, Los Angeles police officers record roughly 8,000 interactions with the public on body-worn cameras. Most of the footage goes unseen. The city spent millions on the cameras to help provide transparency and accountability, but LAPD officials say they don’t have enough personnel to monitor the countless hours of recordings.

Los Angeles Times

Judge inclined to halt Los Angeles biofuel refinery expansion, siding with environmental groups

A Superior Court judge on Friday said he was likely to halt the proposed expansion of a biofuel refinery in the city of Paramount in the southeast part of Los Angeles County. The judge strongly suggested that he was in agreement with three environmental groups, including Communities for a Better Environment, that filed a writ in May 2022 claiming the city's environmental review of the project was insufficient.

Courthouse News Service

Fox Rothschild again faces malicious prosecution suit

Five of the Court of Appeal for this district yesterday reversed an order granting the 910-lawyer firm of Fox Rothschild’s anti-SLAPP motion in an action against it for malicious prosecution, rejecting the view of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Huey P. Cotton Jr. that the attorneys cannot be faulted for believing the assertions of their client over those of his adversary.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Dodgers ordered to pay $100,000 to fan beaten by stadium security at 2018 opening day

A Riverside County man who alleged that he was wrongfully beaten by security personnel at Dodger Stadium on opening day in 2018 has been awarded $105,000 in punitive damages in Los Angeles Superior Court. The court on Friday assessed $100,000 of Francisco Rodriguez’s damages against the Dodgers and $5,000 against Dodgers security officer Erik Pena, who was found to have acted with malice.

Los Angeles Times


Governor Newsom announces appointments 11.16.23

Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments: Ingrid E. Braun, of Mammoth Lakes, has been reappointed to the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, where she has served since 2020. Jim Cooper, of Elk Grove, has been reappointed to the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, where he has served since 2023. Nicholas Nguyen, of La Mesa, has been appointed to the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

CHP fatally shoots pedestrian on 105 Freeway; man used Taser on officer, agency says

Video recorded by a bystander appears to show a deadly encounter in which a California Highway Patrol officer repeatedly shoots a man after a struggle in the middle of the 105 Freeway in Watts on Sunday afternoon. CHP officials said Monday evening that they responded to the freeway about 3:15 p.m. Sunday after receiving multiple calls about a man walking through traffic near the Wilmington Avenue exit.

Los Angeles Times

Rising crime in California fuels recall movement of progressive district attorneys

Fed-up communities dealing with violent crime across the state are pointing the finger at progressive district attorneys. There's been a movement across California to try to unseat reform-minded district attorneys for their so-called soft-on-crime approach. For the first time in Alameda County history, residents are pushing to recall a district attorney less than a year into Pamela Price's term.

CBS News Bay Area


Victim outraged after parole board approves release of convicted rapist

A victim of a convicted rapist is outraged after the California Parole Board approved his release, less than 30 years into his 170-year sentence. "I'm most afraid that he is going to harm, damage, ruin other women like he's done to me," one victim said. The victim was talking about her uncle Cody Woodsen Klemp, who was imprisoned for repeatedly raping her three decades ago. She was 14 years old. He was in his 30s.


Judge rules that adult film star Ron Jeremy can be released to private residence

Former adult film star Ron Jeremy has been released to a “private residence,” due to deteriorating health. Jeremy, whose full name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt, 70, was being held in the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles for months since he was declared incompetent to stand trial earlier this year.

USA Today

California man convicted in beheading, a crime that staggered witnesses and first responders

A jury on Monday found a Northern California man guilty of a murder so shocking that officials offered support to witnesses to the crime and deputies who responded to the scene. Using a samurai sword, Jose Rafael “Rafa” Solano Landaeta beheaded the mother of his child in the middle of a San Mateo County street. He was found guilty of first-degree murder with the use of a sword, according to the county district attorney’s office.

Los Angeles Times

Jobs not jail: A judge was sick of sending kids to prison, so he found a better way

Superior Court Judge John Phillips remembers the day 23 years ago like it was yesterday. A kid stood in his courtroom who’d committed a murder, a young man who was still angry and unrepentant. Then the boy’s grandmother entered. "He broke down and started crying," said Phillips. "He was just a kid. And I’m thinking, 'I’m sending kids to prison for life.'"

USA Today


Video shows group of juveniles ransacking Nike store in South L.A.

A large group of juveniles stole around $12,000 worth of products from a Nike store in a flash mob raid that was captured on video Sunday evening, authorities said. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the call regarding the retail theft came in shortly before 6 p.m. at the Nike Community Store located in the 9800 block of South Alameda Street. 


137 arrests made, $60K in stolen merchandise recovered in California retail crime bust

A statewide law enforcement crackdown on organized retail theft netted 137 arrests and resulted in the recovery of three stolen cars and more than $60,000 in stolen merchandise. The large-scale operation was carried out on Nov. 3 and was coordinated by the California Highway Patrol’s Organized Retail Theft Task Force.



Help get the Repeal the Death Tax Act on the ballot

A lot of Californians do not know this, but they have lost the right they had for more than three decades to transfer family property between parents and children without any increase to the property tax bill. Now, with only narrow and limited exceptions, property passed from parent to child is reassessed to current market value, triggering a massive tax increase for long-held family properties.

Los Angeles Daily News

Amazon vs. the FTC: Behind the monumental antitrust showdown

In September, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission kicked off a long-awaited antitrust battle against e-commerce giant Amazon, filing a lawsuit alongside a bipartisan group of state attorneys general. Recently, government lawyers unsealed large portions of the case that were initially redacted, revealing key evidence the agency is using against the company.

The Week

Articles of Interest

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals provides critical guidance on events triggering waiting time penalties

In Harstein v. Hyatt Corp., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Hyatt Corporation (“Hyatt”) violated California law, which requires the payment of all wages at separation, when one of its hotels failed to pay employees their accrued vacation pay after furloughing them in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

National Law Review

When insurers turned down patient’s request for cancer treatment, they didn’t know he was a top trial lawyer

In August 2018, Robert Salim and eight of his friends and relatives flew to the steamy heat of New York City to watch the U.S. Open. The group - most of them lawyers who were old tennis buddies from college - gathered every few years to attend the championship. They raced from court to court to catch as many matches as possible. They hung out at bars, splurged on high-priced meals and caught up on each others’ lives.


Police misconduct settlements can cost millions, but departments rarely feel the impact

Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $700,000 settlement for a radio reporter who was slammed to the ground and taken into custody during a demonstration in September 2020. That announcement came days after the city council in Fort Worth, Texas, proposed a $3.5 million settlement for the nephew of Atatiana Jefferson, who was fatally shot by a police officer in 2019.

USA Today

Revealed: Multimillionaire dumps over $20M into the main organization behind pro-Palestinian protests happening across US

According to the Daily Mail, a Connecticut-born multimillionaire tech entrepreneur and his activist wife have reportedly been funding the group who has been organizing pro-Palestinian protests all over the United States. Neville Roy Singham and his wife, Jodie Evans, have dumped nearly $20 million into the firm that is a major supporter of left-wing causes in the United States, including an international network of pro-China propaganda and anti-Israel protests.

Law Enforcement Today

United Airlines pilot argues hostage-taking and killing of children is justified

Shortly after Hamas slaughtered Israeli civilians, including children, and took hostages an Air Canada pilot appeared in uniform, draped in a Palestinian flag and called for the destruction of Israel. That didn’t go over well with the airline. United Airlines has a pilot, highlighted by Stop Antisemitism, who seems to cheer on the Hamas death cult as well, posting a steady barrage of messages to Facebook.

View from the Wing

Attorney’s clients now on hook for millions of dollars; CA State Bar says it will respond to records request in probe

Anaheim attorney Kenneth Catanzarite of Catanzarite Law Corporation retains a spotless disciplinary record dating back to his June 1984 admission and continues to practice law despite an ever-increasing record of misconduct reflected by court orders and client depositions, The Vanguard has learned. The Vanguard has drawn comparisons between Catanzarite and Thomas V. Girardi, who was notoriously indicted on wire fraud charges in February 2023.

The Davis Vanguard


California prison officials aim to raise hourly minimum wage for incarcerated workers - to at least 16 cents

Over the seven years Lawrence Cox worked as an inmate in California state prisons, he washed kitchen dishes and pans and cleaned urinals and dormitories. Cox said he was never paid more than 18 cents an hour and was not paid at all for some work assignments. California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation then deducted about half of his meager earnings to cover court-imposed restitution fines.


State removes all inmates from Cal City prison, remaining staff working to close facility

Nearly a decade after they arrived, all inmates have been moved out of a facility in California City leased when the state needed more space. Alia Cruz, spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, confirmed last week that at the facility owned by CoreCivic, "all incarcerated individuals have been transferred to other institutions or placed on parole if qualified."

The Californian

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