Courts, Rulings & Lawsuits

San Francisco D.A.’s office properly recused in two cases

Div. Five of the First District Court of Appeal has affirmed orders in two cases recusing the Office of San Francisco District Attorney based on remarks made in 2021 by now-District Attorney Brooke Jenkins - then a former member of the office who was a leader in the campaign to recall her ex-boss, Chesa Boudin - alleging prosecutorial laxity. The opinion was filed Wednesday.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Orange County informant scandal case reassigned to judge in San Diego

A Seal Beach murder case in which the defendant is alleging his constitutional rights were violated as part of a new round of allegations stemming from the Orange County jail informant scandal has been reassigned to a judge in San Diego County. A 409-page motion filed Sept. 7 in the case against Paul Gentile Smith, 63, alleged that Orange County Superior Court Judge Ebrahim Baytieh, who prosecuted the murder case, used jailhouse snitches that could taint nearly 100 cases. 

City News Service

DC Circuit considers whether police illegally kept protesters’ phones

A D.C. Circuit panel considered on Thursday whether the Metropolitan Police Department violated the Fourth Amendment by holding on to the phones of arrested Black Lives Matter protesters for over a year. The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union in November 2021 on behalf of two protesters and three volunteer medics who were arrested during an August 2020 march in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. 

Courthouse News Service

Supreme Court temporarily blocks limits on White House communication with social media firms

The Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily blocked an appeals court ruling that the Biden administration suppressed protected speech it considered misinformation. The White House and leaders of several federal agencies are facing a lawsuit from the Republican attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana, arguing that the government’s efforts to combat misinformation on elections and Covid-19 vaccines amounted to suppression of protected speech. 

Courthouse News Service


Man charged with murder in killing of LA County deputy pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

The man charged with murder in the killing of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy in an ambush shooting appeared in court Wednesday and entered a dual plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. Kevin Salazar, 29, was arrested Monday in the deadly shooting of 30-year-old Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer at a Palmdale stoplight.


OC DA Spitzer slams Gascón for ruling out death penalty against alleged cop killer

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer released a statement in response to Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón's announcement of charges in the killing of LA County Sheriff's Department deputy, who was slain in Palmdale on Saturday, Sept. 16. Gascón, who charged Salazar with one count of murder, vowed to seek "life without the possibility of parole" during Wednesday's press conference.


Dealing with ‘internal terrorist’

“Internal terrorist,” is an old LAPD management term used for those who don’t “get with the program.” Much has changed within LAPD, but not for some of its alums. One in particular, George Gascón - former LAPD brass - used the antiquated term during his campaign for district attorney. When asked how he would work within civil service rules to implement his agenda, he was not concerned. “I know certainly how to deal” with “internal terrorists.”

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

George Gascón under fire for fumbling $2M retail theft grant

When one of Roozbeh Farahanipour’s Los Angeles restaurants was burglarized overnight three weeks ago, he followed the proper protocol of cooperating with two law enforcement officers and the private security he employs. But a few days after receiving a police report about the incident, the City of Los Angeles sent him a ticket citing him for a false alarm and a subsequent ticket for not having an alarm permit.

Sacramento prosecutor sues California’s capital city over failure to clean up homeless encampments

Sacramento’s top prosecutor is suing the city’s leaders over failure to cleanup homeless encampments, escalating a monthslong dispute with leaders in California’s capital city. County District Attorney Thien Ho announced the lawsuit Tuesday during a news conference in Sacramento, saying the city is seeing a “collapse into chaos” that he said reflects the “erosion of everyday life.”


Former local politician arrested on indictment alleging $70,000 in bribes to Baldwin Park city councilmember for marijuana permits

A former Compton city councilman was arrested today on a federal grand jury indictment alleging he and his consulting client paid $70,000 in bribes to a member of the Baldwin Park City Council in exchange for that official’s votes and support for commercial marijuana permits. Isaac Jacob Galvan, 36, of Compton, who served on the Compton City Council from 2013 until May 2022, was arrested at his residence this morning on a 10-count indictment filed on September 13 and unsealed today.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Press Release

Man who killed 7 people in LA County and Texas is now charged with killing his California cellmate

A serial killer who pleaded guilty last year to a crime spree in Los Angeles and Santa Monica that left five men dead and seven others injured, along with the killings of his aunt and uncle in Texas, has been charged with murdering his cellmate in a Kern County prison, authorities announced Monday. Ramon Alberto Escobar is set to be arraigned Thursday in connection with the Feb. 24 strangulation of Juan Villanueva at North Kern State Prison, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.

City News Service

Blueface refused to snitch on alleged stabber ... case rejected by D.A.

It seems like Blueface's street code is preventing law enforcement from putting together a case against his alleged assailant. The L.A. County District Attorney's office tells TMZ Hip Hop ... the case has been rejected, for now, due to Blueface's lack of cooperation with the investigation. The video doesn't clearly show everything necessary to bring a criminal case, so, we're told investigators needed cooperation from witnesses to move forward.



LA DA candidates blast Gascón policies in Manhattan Beach forum

There are at least nine candidates running for Los Angeles County district attorney next year, as incumbent DA George Gascón faces challenges that include several prosecutors who currently work for him. Seven challengers appeared at a Manhattan Beach forum Tuesday night and overwhelmingly the theme focused on why they feel Gascón has to go. Gascón was elected in 2020 over incumbent Jackie Lacey as he promised a wave of reforms.


Gascon announces reelection team; doubles down on radical agenda

Last week Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon sent an email to supporters announcing that his reelection campaign has hired a political consulting firm called Makers Strategies. The firm brands itself as a “full service social change consultancy,” and its clients are a who’s who of L.A. Democratic Socialists.

Westside Current

Murderer of LASD Carson Station Chaplain and attempted cop killer granted parole

Derek Pettis, a convicted murderer and attempted cop killer was granted parole at his latest suitability hearing. The hearing took place on September 6th, 2023. Now we must appeal to the Governor to stop Pettis’s release in order to prevent a murderer, who committed the brutal execution style murder of Carson Station Chaplain in cold blood and the attempted murder of a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff.

The Current Report

He heard voices. He bought a gun. Now he's accused of killing an L.A. deputy

When Kevin Cataneo Salazar, 29, allegedly shot Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, he may have been using a handgun he had purchased legally despite a history of mental illness, authorities said Tuesday, raising questions about how he was able to slip through the cracks of a system designed to prevent such tragedies. Cataneo Salazar's mother told The Times her son had been hospitalized for mental health crises and twice attempted suicide. 

Los Angeles Times

As Los Angeles County zero bail rules go into effect, prosecutor calls it 'invitation' to commit more crimes

New zero-dollar bail guidelines soon to take effect in Los Angeles County will allow suspected offenders to be released for a range of crimes, including some types of theft, assaults and vandalism, among other offenses. The new bail schedule was approved by the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, and will apply to defendants arrested for non-violent felonies and misdemeanors. All police departments and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department must comply. 

Fox News

Bill eliminating pretext stops for police dies in Calif. legislature

In a win for police unions and prosecutors, a bill to eliminate pretext stops - the common police practice of pulling drivers over for minor offenses like broken taillights in order to search their cars for drugs or guns - failed to garner enough votes before the Thursday night deadline, and is dead for the year.

San Francisco Chronicle

Criminals and their apologists

In May 2023, in his inaugural address as mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson said, “The tears of Adam Toledo’s parents are made of the same sorrow as those of Officer Preston’s parents.” Johnson was referring to the deaths of Chicago police officer Areanah Preston - killed in cold blood by a group of violent young criminals - and Adam Toledo, who was fleeing police at two in the morning after he and a companion were caught firing guns at passing cars. 


Questions remain as feds signal an end to DWP billing probe

It was a shocking sight on a July morning in 2019: An FBI van parked outside Los Angeles City Hall and agents upstairs, scouring the headquarters of the city attorney’s office. The government was there to collect evidence in a complex criminal case growing out of a scandal that erupted years earlier at another powerful city agency, the Department of Water and Power.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles City/County City/C

Ambushed L.A. deputy was newly engaged, looking forward to big things. 'No words’

A young man stands on the beach, before breaking waves and alongside his new fiancée. He holds her hand so all the world can see her engagement ring. They're both smiling broadly, full of hope and promise. The optimism of that moment, shared just last week on Instagram, disintegrated in an instant Saturday evening, when an unknown attacker shot and killed the groom-to-be, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer.

Los Angeles Times

Dodgers pitcher’s arrest puts spotlight on Exposition Park’s tiny police force

When the news broke that Dodgers star pitcher Julio Urías had been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, Angelenos might have been forgiven for not recognizing the agency that put the cuffs on him. The Exposition Park Department of Public Safety? Exposition Park, a 160-acre expanse of public space that includes museums, schools and ballparks in the heart of Los Angeles, is patrolled by its own police force, it turns out. 

Los Angeles Times

Here’s how to help the family of slain LASD Deputy Clinkunbroomer

For the next 30 days, all donations made to the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs C.A.R.E.S. Foundation will be going to the family of Ryan Clinkunbroomer, the L.A. County deputy killed outside the Palmdale station over the weekend, officials announced. At a Monday morning press conference, law enforcement authorities said they’ve arrested the man they believe to be responsible for the shooting following a hours-long standoff outside his Palmdale residence.

Los Angeles Daily News

Ex-prosecutor Christopher Darden to run for LA County Superior Court judge

Former prosecutor Christopher Darden Tuesday announced his candidacy for L.A County Superior Court judge. Darden, 67, has been an attorney for over 40 years, and worked for 15 years for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. He is best known for serving as a co-prosecutor in the 1994 O.J. Simpson murder case. The election is March 5. Darden has also been a legal commentator for CNBC, Court TV, NBC and CNN, and a law professor at Southwestern University School of Law.

City News Service

LAPD assistant chief put on leave for alleged stalking

A high-ranking LAPD official, Al Labrada, was placed on administrative leave Tuesday after allegations of stalking, Chief Michel Moore said. Moore announced the move at Tuesday’s meeting of the department’s oversight body, the Board of Police Commissioners. Labrada, one of three assistant chiefs who report to Moore, was the subject of an Ontario police report that alleged he used an Apple AirTag to track the movements of an LAPD police officer he was romantically involved with, according to law enforcement sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the ongoing investigation.

Los Angeles Times

County’s failure to adhere to time limit not material

The County of Los Angeles’s failure to adhere to a condition in a settlement agreement with an employee that it would present the accord to the Board of Supervisors within five months for its approval did not vest in the employee the power to withdraw his assent, the Court of Appeal for this district held yesterday, declaring that the time limit was not material. The agreement, Justice Rashida A. Adams of Div. Three pointed out, did not recite that time was “of the essence.”

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Organized Retail Crime

California cops get hundreds of millions to combat retail theft

The viral videos show thieves brazenly smashing windows and stealing from stores. In other videos, people quickly grab items from store shelves, pushing them into a bag before walking away. It’s a trend California law enforcement agencies hope to curb with $267 million in state grants to police and sheriff’s departments, district attorney’s offices and probation departments.

Courthouse News Service

Thieves swarm luxury malls in Southern California and other areas, driving retail crime to $100B

It took just minutes for more than 20 thieves, clad in hoods and masks, to swarm the Nordstrom store in the Westfield Topanga shopping center and make off with $300,000 of handbags and other luxury items. A security guard was blasted in the face with bear spray, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, which dubbed it a “flash rob.” 

Insurance Journal

Romanian nationals caught allegedly stealing from Pasadena Macy’s; suspects may be tied to other thefts

Four Romanian nationals have been arrested and charged in connection with organized retail theft in Pasadena, authorities announced Wednesday. A section of the Pasadena Police Department aimed to combat retail theft and vehicle burglaries recently focused their attention at a Macy’s on 401 S. Lake Avenue. On Sept. 8 detectives closely monitored four people who they believe were “methodically choosing high value clothing items,” police detailed in a news release.


9 arrested in organized retail theft operation

Nine people accused of being part of an “organized retail theft crew” were arrested last week in Leimert Park after detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department partnered with a local business to conduct a loss prevention operation, authorities announced Tuesday. The operation unfolded on Sept. 14 in the 3700 block of Crenshaw Boulevard, according to an LAPD news release. 



911 call-takers are demoralized, overwhelmed and dealing with their own mental health woes

In her 21 years as a 911 dispatcher, Lynette McManus Williams has served as the first person that callers speak with on one of the worst days of their lives. She’s coached desperate callers on how to provide CPR and the Heimlich maneuver to loved ones, dispatched emergency medical personnel and police, and convinced people that life is worth living when they’ve given up hope. 

MindSite News

A 96-year-old federal judge was barred from hearing cases in a fight over her fitness

A 96-year-old U.S. federal appeals court judge was barred Wednesday from hearing cases for a year after a panel said she refused to undergo medical testing amid concerns that she is no longer mentally fit to serve on the bench. It's the latest development in an unusually public and bitter fight over whether Judge Pauline Newman should continue to serve on the Washington-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that has sparked a lawsuit and turned judges against one another.


Coast Guard deploys boats to deter 'pirates' taking over Oakland estuary, officials say

Pirates are taking over the Oakland Estuary Marinas. Yes, pirates. And local and federal authorities says it's getting so bad - the U.S. Coast Guard is deploying help to patrol the area. "Boat owners attacked by pirates," said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. "There are no excuses for that.” From shipwrecks to sunken sailboats to pirate attacks, the shoreline around the Oakland estuary is seeing a new level of violence that's leaving the area torn up and trashed.


Google to pay $93 million based on deception in gathering data on users’ locations

Google LLC yesterday agreed to pay a civil penalty of $93 million in settlement of an action against it by the California Department of Justice for tricking users into giving unwitting consent to a tracking of their locations and making false representations. California sued the tech giant under the Unfair Competition Law and the False Advertising Law. Both the complaint and the stipulated proposed judgment were filed yesterday.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Hunter Biden sues IRS for allegedly releasing his confidential tax information

Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the Internal Revenue Service for allegedly violating his privacy because two of its investigators revealed confidential information about his taxes. The IRS agents, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, testified before Congress as federal whistleblowers who said they were hindered during the five-year investigation of Biden.

USA Today

Attorneys who aided debtors hit with $4.5 million in attorney fees

To recap, plaintiffs Nicole Nagel and ESY Investments, LLC, purchased a residence from Tracy and his wife Linda Westen in 2011, but there were defects in the residence that lead to an arbitration and ultimately a judgment against the Westens in 2014 for about $4.6 million. Instead of paying the judgment, the Westens bought a home in Texas, and engaged in other conduct meant to defeat Nagel's collection of the judgment.


‘Piqui’s Law’ passed after SoCal boy murdered by father in custody battle

The tragic death of a South Pasadena boy during a contentious custody battle has now led to the creation of new legislation protecting children from abusive parents. In a unanimous vote on Friday, state assemblymembers passed “Piqui’s Law,” which was sponsored by Senator Susan Rubio of Baldwin Park. The law mandates domestic abuse training for judges, especially when dealing with child safety during custody battles with abusive parents.



Deputy caught with more than 44 pounds of drugs, gun, RCSD says

A Riverside County correctional deputy faces drug and gun charges after more than 40 pounds of drugs was allegedly discovered in his vehicle during a traffic stop on Sunday. Banning resident Jorge Oceguera-Rocha, 25, was pulled over on the 10 Freeway at County Line Road in Calimesa, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. 


Teen driver deliberately mowed down cyclists in OC, police allege

A male juvenile was arrested Tuesday night in connection with a series of intentional hit-and-run incidents in Huntington Beach, one of which involved the death of a 70-year-old man, authorities said Wednesday. The boy, who was not identified by police, was booked into Orange County Juvenile Hall on one count of homicide and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Orange County Patch

Armed man impersonating U.S. marshal arrested at Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign event

An armed man impersonating a U.S. Marshal was arrested at a Robert F. Kennedy Jr. presidential campaign event in Los Angeles on Friday evening. A spokesperson for the LAPD told PEOPLE that officers responded to a radio call about a man impersonating a U.S. Marshall at the Kennedy for President event within the 4400 block of West 8th Street at 4:30 p.m. The LAPD spokesperson identified the suspect as Adrian Paul Aispuro, 44, and said that he “had a loaded gun and shoulder holster and a badge stating he was a U.S. Marshal.”


Homeless Issue

California cities take frustration over growing homeless camps to U.S. Supreme Court

Fed up with homeless encampments, California local officials are seeking guidance from the nation’s most powerful judges. In a legal brief filed Tuesday with the U.S. Supreme Court, the California State Association of Counties and League of California Cities told the justices that a string of federal court rulings over the last five years that restrict cities’ abilities to sweep camps and order residents off the streets have made addressing health and safety concerns “unworkable.”

San Jose Inside


Governor Newsom again reverses parole for convicted murderer Jason Adam Greenwell

District Attorney Dan Dow announced today that Governor Gavin Newsom has for a second time reversed the Parole Board's earlier decision to release one of the five convicted murderers who brutally killed Dystiny Myers (15) in 2010. On Thursday, September 14, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom granted District Attorney Dan Dow’s request for him to reverse the parole of Jason Greenwell, convicted of second-degree murder for the killing of 15-year-old Dystiny Myers in 2010. 

District Attorney County of San Luis Obispo 

Articles of Interest

State Supreme Court to decide whether S.F. courts can be sued for COVID closures

The state Supreme Court will decide whether San Francisco’s courts can be sued by the city’s public defender and taxpayers for delaying hundreds of criminal trials during the pandemic by allegedly refusing to make courtrooms available. A state appeals court had ruled in June that the suit could proceed and that Public Defender Mano Raju and three taxpayers could seek judicial orders to reserve more courtrooms for criminal trials. 

San Francisco Chronicle

Letter showing Pope Pius XII had detailed information from German Jesuit about Nazi crimes revealed

Newly discovered correspondence suggests that World War II-era Pope Pius XII had detailed information from a trusted German Jesuit that up to 6,000 Jews and Poles were being gassed each day in German-occupied Poland. The documentation undercuts the Holy See’s argument that it couldn’t verify diplomatic reports of Nazi atrocities to denounce them. 


Fourth Circuit weighs if councilwoman’s psychotic episode was grounds for removal

The Fourth Circuit heard arguments Tuesday about whether a city councilwoman's misconduct during a psychotic episode, including assaulting a police officer, was reason enough to remove her from office. Angelia Nikole James served as a councilwoman for Monroe, North Carolina, a small city southeast of Charlotte.

Courthouse News Service

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