Courts, Rulings & Lawsuits

LA judge leaves cash bail block in place, despite new court policy

A California Superior Court Judge denied a request by the city and county of Los Angeles to dissolve a court order barring the two governmental entities from using pre-arraignment cash bail to hold arrestees for non-violent misdemeanors. The preliminary injunction, issued in May, was in some ways superseded by the LA County Superior Court system two months later, which published a new bail schedule that was in near-perfect harmony with the order. 

Courthouse News Service

Family of slain firefighter settles part of case against Los Angeles County

The widow and children of a Los Angeles County Fire Department engineer shot to death by a colleague at the Agua Dulce station have reached a tentative settlement of the part of their lawsuit against the county. The Chatsworth Superior Court lawsuit was brought in January 2022 by Heidi Carlon, who was married to the late 44-year-old Tory Carlon; her adult daughter, Joslyn Carlon; and Heidi Carlon’s two other daughters, who are both minors.


Judge rejects no-jail plea deal for L.A. deputy charged in death of suicidal man

A Los Angeles County judge made the rare decision to reject a negotiated plea agreement Friday that would have allowed a sheriff’s deputy to avoid jail time on assault charges stemming from the 2021 shooting death of a suicidal man outside his family’s East L.A. home.

Los Angeles Times

L.A. County got a restraining order against a foul-mouthed gadfly. He denies making threats

For Armando Herman, the July 11 L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting was a typical outing. He called an attorney a “dum dum” and an “Uncle Tom.” During a discussion on the upcoming Olympics, he accused a supervisor of fostering a holocaust. He used an expletive 25 times, a gay slur twice and a racial epithet once. And he did much of it with a swastika pinned to his back.

Los Angeles Times

Lawmaker’s inaction can be ‘action’ under Brown Act

A local legislative body can take an “action” by deciding not to countermand a decision by an official, Div. Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal held yesterday, affirming an order denying an anti-SLAPP motion filed by the City of Orange in response to a lawsuit claiming that its lawmakers violated the Brown Act by backing the city manager’s decision to revoke a license without providing notice of an intention to take up that matter.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Ninth Circuit reinstates inmate’s suit against Guerrero

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ordered reinstatement of an action for declaratory relief brought by a death-row inmate against California Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero based on his request for the appointment of counsel to pursue relief in a habeas corpus proceeding having gone unheeded for 26 years. The inmate, who is incarcerated in San Quentin, is Stephen Moreland Redd, a former Los Angeles County deputy sheriff who fatally shot a supermarket manager during the course of a robbery.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Suit for arrest over courthouse photography not restored

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that an action against two sheriff’s deputies for arresting an activist who was photographing the entrance to a courthouse on her cell phone were properly granted qualified immunity because the defendants were reasonable in interpreting a general order and local rule permitting photographing in a “designated media area” only applied to members of the press.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

FTC lawsuit says Amazon made $1 billion in price fixing scheme

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit alleges Amazon employed a secret algorithm code-named "Project Nessie" that guided Amazon to raise prices and improve profits on items across its most popular online shopping categories. Because of Amazon's dominance in e-commerce, the algorithm led competitors to raise their prices and charge customers more. 

The Counterfeit Report

Calif. city joins suit against LA County zero-bail policy

Manhattan Beach is the latest city seeking an injunction against Los Angeles County's new zero-bail policy. The City Council voted unanimously this week to join an impending lawsuit, which has more than 25 other municipalities fighting against the county's move to eliminate cash-bail for some low-level misdemeanors and non-violent crimes. The L.A. County Superior Court rolled out the rules, officially called the Pre-Arraignment Release Protocols, on Oct. 1.

Daily Breeze

Repeated reports to police, if false, were ground for granting DVRO

The Court of Appeal for this district said in an opinion certified for publication yesterday that a father’s repeated reports to police that his six-year-old girl and three-year-old boy, who were in their mother’s care, were in peril, if untrue, constituted sufficient harassment to warrant the granting of a restraining order. 

Metropolitan News-Enterprise


LA County DA charges woman accused of attacking 13-year-old girl at McDonald's with misdemeanor, not felony

A woman who was arrested for allegedly attacking a 13-year-old girl in a crime caught on cell phone video inside a McDonald's restaurant in Harbor City pleaded not guilty Monday to a misdemeanor child abuse charge. Ariana Lauifi, who will turn 32 Tuesday, was initially charged Oct. 2 with a felony count of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death, but the charge was reduced Monday to a misdemeanor at the request of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

City News Service

Driver in crash that killed 4 Pepperdine seniors was speeding at 104 mph, DA says

A driver accused of killing four Pepperdine University students in Malibu, California, last week was speeding at 104 mph before the deadly crash, the district attorney said Wednesday. Fraser Michael Bohm, 22, of Malibu, was re-arrested Tuesday and is charged with four counts of murder and four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter in the crash Oct. 17 on scenic Pacific Coast Highway, officials said.

NBC News

Orange County District Attorney's Office targeted by cyberattack

The Orage County District Attorney's Office has contracted an expert to help identify vulnerabilities in their system after detecting a cyberattack. Authorities received alerts about the security breach on Friday, Oct. 20. It's unclear whether the cyberattack was successful but an OCDA spokesperson said they took immediate action and shut down their system to "prevent further intrusion."


Off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot charged with attempted murder after trying to shut down plane engines midflight 

An off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot has been charged with over 80 counts of attempted murder after he allegedly tried to shut off a plane's engines midflight Sunday, causing the flight to divert to Portland, Oregon. Flight 2059, operated by Alaska Airlines subsidiary Horizon Air, took off from Everett, Washington, and was bound for San Francisco, Alaska Airlines said in a statement.

NBC News

Leader of La Luz del Mundo Megachurch charged by federal grand jury with producing and possessing child sexual abuse material

A federal grand jury today charged the leader of the Mexico-based La Luz del Mundo megachurch with two felony counts alleging he produced and possessed child sexual abuse material (CSAM) depicting a 16-year-old victim. Naasón Joaquín García, 54, previously served as a minister for the church in Santa Ana and, from December 2014, led the church in Mexico.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Press Release

Former Orange County school official arrested for allegedly embezzling $14 million from district

Federal authorities arrested a former Orange County school district employee Thursday after he allegedly embezzled $14 million to pay off his house and purchase luxury goods and services, including items from Versace and Louis Vuitton. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 52-year-old Jorge Armando Contreras embezzled the money over a seven-year period. He was arrested Thursday on suspicion of felony embezzlement concerning programs receiving federal funds and is now facing up to 10 years in prison. 


DA Race

D.A. Gascón derided by challengers over special directives

Brickbats were hurled at Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón during a candidate forum at which all nine announced prospective election challengers to him were present, and Gascón was not, with special directives which the incumbent issued on Dec. 7, 2020, his first day in office - and, in particular, his ban on seeking sentencing enhancements - coming under fire.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

D.A. George Gascón faces 9 challengers in one of the largest primary fields in L.A. history

When Jackie Lacey sought a second term as Los Angeles’ top prosecutor in 2016, she wound up running unopposed. The man who ousted her from office, George Gascón, has a much steeper hill to climb to win reelection next year. During his first term in office, Gascón has frequently been at odds with his own prosecutors and law enforcement, who say his policies aimed at reducing mass incarceration and racially disparate outcomes in the criminal justice system have led to spikes in violence.

Los Angeles Times

DA candidates criticize Gascón, make their arguments

A group of law enforcement unions and peace officer organizations hosted a debate and forum for candidates seeking to be the county’s top prosecutor, which is on the ballot in March, and then again in November if no candidate gets 50% plus one vote in the primary. District Attorney George Gascón, who declined to attend, was harangued by all nine contenders, including members of his own office’s leadership, judges and former federal prosecutors.  

The Signal

9 candidates for D.A. seat take aim at Gascon

There was a crowded stage in the City of Industry as nine candidates looking to be the next Los Angeles County district attorney all took aim at the incumbent. George Gascón was invited to this forum and debate organized by several unions, but he declined to attend. An empty podium held his place on stage.


Woke Los Angeles DA George Gascon ‘packing’ his office with former public defenders: sources

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón has hired a crack team of ex-defense attorneys for his prosecutor’s office and some are getting serious criminals out of jail early, sources tell The Post. Insiders at the DA’s office say the Resentencing Unit - formed in 2021 - is now packed with staff who used to be on the opposite side of the court, which they say creates a host of problems.

New York Post


Using ex-inmates to help people who were just released from county jails cuts recidivism

Through use of extensive wraparound services, an intensive Los Angeles County program reduced the number of released inmates who return to incarceration by 17% - results that are almost three times greater than similar programs throughout the state, a new study shows.

Los Angeles Daily News

Rob Bonta praised fentanyl murder case but ducked California legislation on deadly drug

Something unusual - perhaps even historic - happened this month in Placer County, in the foothills northeast of Sacramento. A man named Nathaniel Evan Cabacungan was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison after pleading guilty to second degree murder in the death of Jewels Marie Wolf, a 15-year-old girl he had supplied with a fake Percocet pill containing a lethal dose of fentanyl.


Newsom signs mental health bill expanding definition for conservatorship in California

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 43, which updates California’s conservatorship laws for the first time in more than 50 years. The new law, authored by Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), updates the definition for conservatorship to include people who are unable to provide for their personal safety or medical care due to severe substance use disorder or serious mental illnesses.  

Visalia Times-Delta

Harvard and UPenn donors are furious. It may have a financial domino effect

Influential donors to Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania say they will cut their ties to the schools in protest of college administrators’ response to alleged anti-Israel speech and antisemitism on campuses in the wake of Hamas’ terror attacks. Major donors pulling out won’t inflict significant financial damage on wealthy Ivy League institutions with huge endowments like Harvard and UPenn in the short term, but it could hurt these schools over the long run.


Los Angeles City/County

Gun and ammo dealers in LA County unincorporated areas face tighter restrictions

Gun and ammunition dealers at about 20 retail locations in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County are facing stricter regulations as a result of a new ordinance initially approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The ordinance applies to retail stores and is part of a series of gun control measures adopted by the board in the past year, led by Fourth District Supervisor and board chair Janice Hahn.

Los Angeles Daily News

Prosecutors fear LAPD gang unit scandal could jeopardize over 300 cases, sources say

With criminal charges looming against the officers at the center of the Los Angeles Police Department’s latest corruption scandal, county prosecutors have started a broad review of hundreds of cases that rely on testimony or evidence from at least two members of a gang squad suspected of making illegal stops and stealing items from suspects, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

Los Angeles Times

Cameras, cops and paranoia: How Amazon's Ring camera network alters L.A. neighborhoods

Ed Dorini’s house sits at the end of a cul-de-sac that snakes its way up a hill in the Sun Valley area, one of Los Angeles’ northernmost corners. It’s a small enclave whose residents are a little whiter and a little wealthier than the rest of Los Angeles. In this neighborhood, “people take care of their properties,” Dorini said in an interview in his home in late May.

Los Angeles Times

LAPD considers changes to body camera review policy

The Los Angeles Police Department is considering changing department policy to increase random reviews of body camera recordings that don't involve arrests or the use of force, according to an email from Chief Michel Moore to his senior staff. Moore wrote that "it's in our best interest to strengthen and reinforce" the number of incidents involving patrol and gang officers that are reviewed roughly every 30 days, "which more closely aligns with other agencies.”

Los Angeles Times


Crime trends in the United States and California

Some years ago, the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation began tracking the trends in crime in California versus the country as a whole. California has been more aggressive than most states in the “criminal justice reform” movement, a euphemism for reducing the consequences of crime to criminals. With the release of the 2022 national crime data, it seemed like a good time to update the trendline.

California Globe

Disneyland’s legal fight against Anaheim wage law nears conclusion

The lowest-paid cast members at Disneyland could be getting a wage increase after the California Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Disney regarding whether an Anaheim wage law applied to certain employees at the theme park. As first reported by the Los Angeles Times, the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal ordered raises and back pay for Disney employees, known as cast members, over the summer after a class-action lawsuit was filed.


USPS touts crackdown on postal crime, carrier robberies, with hundreds of arrests

With mail theft and postal carrier robberies up, law enforcement officials have made more than 600 arrests since May in a crackdown launched to address crime that includes carriers being accosted at gunpoint for their antiquated universal keys, the Postal Service announced Wednesday. Criminals are both stealing mail and targeting carriers' so-called “arrow keys” to get access to mailboxes.


JPMorgan Chase sued for allegedly terminating accounts and failing to return $1,160,000: Report

America’s biggest bank is being sued for allegedly terminating several accounts and failing to ensure more than a million dollars was returned to its rightful owners. Rui Wang and Hengchen Qu, mother and son, have filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase Bank for alleged unjust enrichment and breach of contract related to certificates of deposit (CDs), reports Think Advisor.

The Daily Hodl

Fiona Ma wants her day in court

The typical playbook for defending yourself from a high-profile lawsuit is simple - delay, delay, delay. But Fiona Ma has a deadline. She wants to be lieutenant governor. The California state treasurer is facing accusations of sexual harassment from a former employee, Judith Blackwell, and more than two years of court proceedings have not led to a resolution. Last month, after the two sides couldn’t reach a settlement agreement, a Sacramento Superior Court judge allowed the case to go to a jury trial.



Shocking video shows driver robbed on L.A. freeway after intentional crash

In one of the more brazen robberies captured on video in Los Angeles in recent years, a driver was intentionally hit and then robbed by a group of thieves along the 10 Freeway. A video shared on Citizen shows the scene unfolding on the shoulder of eastbound I-10 just west of Arlington Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. According to the California Highway Patrol, a black Dodge Caravan deliberately crashed into a black Alfa Romeo sedan.


Hate crime investigation opened in response to antisemitic graffiti incidents

Beverly Hills police suspect the same person or persons may be responsible for antisemitic graffiti discovered in the city on Oct. 25. One message was spray-painted onto an alleyway and another outside of an apartment complex. The incidents are being treated as hate crimes, according to a statement from the Beverly Hills Police Department on Oct. 26. One of the hateful messages was reported to police at 1:39 p.m. near the Bedford Manor Apartments on the 400 block of S. Bedford Drive, according to BHPD Lt. Reginald Evans. 

Beverly Hills Courier

Burglaries at San Fernando Valley pharmacies are linked, police believe (Video)

In October alone, there have been at least 13 pharmacy burglaries in the San Fernando Valley. Police believe the crimes are being committed by the same group of men. Eric Leonard reports Oct. 23, 2023.


Los Angeles Rams wide receiver DeMarcus Robinson robbed at gunpoint: reports

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver DeMarcus Robinson was robbed at gunpoint Friday, according to multiple reports. Law enforcement sources told TMZ Sports that officers responded to a call of a robbery outside of a hotel in L.A. just after midnight on Friday. Robinson was not injured in the incident but had over $100,000 in jewelry stolen from him including a luxury watch, Sports Illustrated said. 


Video shows moments LAPD sergeant was hit by alleged drunk driver while trying to stop stolen car

Newly released video captures the moments a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant is mowed down by an alleged drunk driver. The violent collision was caught on surveillance video and on Sergeant Vanessa Prentice's body-worn camera. It happened on September 23 in Jefferson Park around 3:40 a.m. as officers were attempting to stop a stolen vehicle. Prentice got out of her patrol car and was walking up to the scene when another driver hit her from behind.


Intruder arrested twice in 1 day at home of RFK Jr. in Brentwood, LAPD says

After an intruder was arrested Wednesday at the Brentwood home of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the suspect was released from custody and later returned to the residence, where he again was arrested, authorities and Kennedy's presidential campaign said. The initial incident was reported about 9:30 a.m. after the intruder climbed a fence and asked to see the candidate, according to the campaign. The man was detained by employees of Gavin de Becker and Associates, a private security company.


89 arrests made so far by LASD’s new retail crime task force

Organized retail theft is hitting businesses hard, and Steve Craig, owner of Citadel Outlets, knows firsthand. “A few months ago, several ladies walked into Lululemon with 55 gallon trash bags, loaded them up as full as they could and ran out the door with them,” Craig said. “They’re organized; these products end up in other places, and it’s for profit.”



Fourth Trump co-defendant takes plea deal in Georgia election interference case

Jenna Ellis, who served as an attorney for the Trump campaign, became the fourth defendant to accept a plea deal on Tuesday in the Georgia election interference case against the former president and several of his allies. Appearing before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee alongside her attorneys, Franklin and Laura Hogue, Ellis pleaded guilty to one felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings.

Courthouse News Service

California Hells Angels sentenced to federal prison

Two Hells Angels members have been sentenced to prison for their roles in criminal activities by the Sonoma County chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, federal prosecutors said. Jeremy Greer, 43, was sentenced to seven years for multiple assaults, armed robbery, home invasion robbery, and witness intimidation, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California said Friday.  

Bay City News


Securities fraud action against Facebook partly reinstated

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday reinstated the bulk of claims in a securities fraud action against Facebook brought by shareholders, holding that they adequately pled that the social media giant had stated in a 2016 filing that users’ data “could” be compromised while it well knew that massive intrusions had occurred.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Articles of Interest

Berkeley Law academic tells law firms not to hire antisemitic students

A law professor from the University of California Berkeley is telling law firms not to hire his antisemitic students. Steven Davidoff Solomon wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the law firm Winston & Strawn did the right thing when it revoked a job offer for a New York University law student who publicly condemned Israel for Hamas’ terrorist attacks.


Democratic Socialists of America founding member leaves over its 'morally bankrupt' response to Hamas attack

Democratic Socialists of America founding member Maurice Isserman announced Monday he is leaving the organization for its response to Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israeli civilians. Isserman, who is still described on the socialists’ website as a founding member of DSA penned a piece for The Nation headlined, "Why I Just Quit DSA.”

Fox News

Read the secret Signal messages that could help put SBF behind bars

Much of the government’s case against Sam Bankman-Fried hinges on the testimony and text messages from those in his crypto inner circle who turned against him late last year after the implosion of FTX and sister hedge fund Alameda Research. Of the dozens of items entered into evidence in the first three weeks of the trial, a bank of messages on encrypted app Signal paint perhaps the clearest picture of Bankman-Fried’s alleged crimes.


Amazon paid employee $350,000 in expenses for non-existent meals and fake happy hours, FBI says

Every other month, Amazon runs an induction event for new executives called Escape Velocity. There are speakers - sometimes including the top brass like founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy - as well as training, happy hours and food. It’s a costly event to run, as evidenced in expenses for catering and drinks filed by one event organizer between March 2021 and May 2022, totalling over $350,000.


Unite Here Local 11 wants to eliminate hotel jobs

The weaponized initiative that was placed on the March primary ballot by Unite Here Local 11 will result, if approved by the City’s voters, in many of its members joining the ranks of the unemployed. This measure would establish the Hotel Housing Voucher Program where the City would issue prepaid vouchers to place homeless individuals and families in vacant hotel rooms that hotels would be required to accept. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

CityWatch LA

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