Category Archives: Lawsuits

Discussions On City Of LA’s Motion For Clarification Of Otero’s Preliminary Injunction Forbidding Confiscation Of Homeless Property In Skid Row Finally Break Down, Leading Plaintiffs’ Attorneys To File Scathing Opposition — Hearing Set For September 11 At 10 a.m.

See Gale Holland’s excellent story in the Times on Mitchell v. LA as well as our other stories on the subject for the background to this post. See here to download most of the papers filed in the case.

It’s been over a year since anything tangible happened in Mitchell v. City of LA, which is the most recent lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles challenging the City’s abhorrent enforcement of the abhorrent LAMC 56.11 as an abhorrent justification for the illegal and immoral confiscation of the personal property of homeless people in Los Angeles. Here’s a brief timeline of what’s been going on:

  • April 2016 — Judge Otero issues a preliminary injunction severely limiting the City’s enforcement of LAMC 56.11 in Skid Row.
  • May 2016 — The City of Los Angeles asks Otero to clarify his injunction. In particular, the City wanted to know the boundaries within which the injunction applies and also how the community caretaking exception to the Fourth Amendment is to be exercised in relation to homeless people’s property.
  • Subsequently the City and the plaintiffs spent over a year trying to come to an agreement on the motion for clarification.

Well, yesterday Carol Sobel filed this opposition announcing that, while the parties were able to agree on the boundaries within which the injunction applies and some other matters, they most certainly were not able to agree on the community caretaking matter and neither were they able to agree on the City’s proposal for what constitutes a removable “bulky item.” The agreed-upon boundaries, by the way, are:

Second Street to the north, Eighth Street to the South, Alameda Street to the east and Spring Street to the west.

According to the American Bar Association Journal,

The idea behind community caretaking is that police do not always function as law enforcement officials investigating and ferreting out wrongdoing, but sometimes may act as community caretakers designed to prevent harm in emergency situations.

When they’re functioning in that role, the theory goes, they can seize cars without due process, or search houses without a warrant, and so on, as long as they’re “caring for the community” rather than investigating. Thus the community caretaking function justifies some specific exceptions to the Fourth Amendment prohibition on warrantless searches and seizures of property.

And I’m sure you can imagine just what kinds of mischief the City of Los Angeles is capable of getting up to with a tool like that. In particular they’re arguing that they ought to be able to confiscate people’s property when they’re arrested even if the arrestee has someone at the scene who can take custody of the property. The City says yes, sane people say no.

This matter is scheduled for a hearing at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 11, in Otero’s Courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse. Anyway, turn the page for some excerpts from the filing which explain things better than I’m capable of doing.
Continue reading Discussions On City Of LA’s Motion For Clarification Of Otero’s Preliminary Injunction Forbidding Confiscation Of Homeless Property In Skid Row Finally Break Down, Leading Plaintiffs’ Attorneys To File Scathing Opposition — Hearing Set For September 11 At 10 a.m.

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Tiffany Bacon, Lunada Bay Boys Defense Attorney For Two Thirds Of The Ferraras In The Case, Files Opposition To Plaintiffs’ Motion For $32,000 In Sanctions In Advance Of Tomorrow’s Telephonic Hearing On The Matter, Passively Threatens Retaliatory Abuse Of Process Claim Against Plaintiffs On Charlie’s (But Not Frank’s) Behalf

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

Last week, in yet another thrilling episode in the seemingly neverending saga of discovery disputes in the astonishingly labyrinthine Lunada Bay Boys case, the plaintiffs filed a motion asking magistrate judge Rozella Oliver to make Charlie Ferrara, Frank Ferrara, and their lawyers, Bremer, Whyte, Brown, & O’Meara, represented in the instant matter by Tiffany Bacon, cough up $32,000 in sanctions for failure to abide by the Court’s orders regarding discovery.

Well, there’s a telephonic hearing on the matter tomorrow at 10 a.m., and yesterday Tiffany Bacon, attorney to the particular Ferraras involved here, filed an Opposition to the Motion as well as a big old declaration in support of the opposition and a little tiny objection to evidence, mostly arguing that the fact that Frank Ferrara was quoted in the Daily Breeze about the case before he was served, being hearsay, isn’t adequate evidence that he was aware of the case before he was served.

As the hearing is tomorrow and Rozella Oliver is characteristically quite prompt with orders we should know the outcome within the next few days. Stay tuned, and turn the page for a transcription of some excerpts from the opposition to the motion.
Continue reading Tiffany Bacon, Lunada Bay Boys Defense Attorney For Two Thirds Of The Ferraras In The Case, Files Opposition To Plaintiffs’ Motion For $32,000 In Sanctions In Advance Of Tomorrow’s Telephonic Hearing On The Matter, Passively Threatens Retaliatory Abuse Of Process Claim Against Plaintiffs On Charlie’s (But Not Frank’s) Behalf

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Lunada Bay Boys Judge James Otero Orders Post-Deadline Deposition Of Plaintiff Organization Coastal Protection Rangers To Take Place By August 24 Or, At The Latest, September 15

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

The other day the Lunada Bay Boys defendants asked Judge James Otero if they could depose the Coastal Protection Rangers, who is one of the plaintiffs in the case, despite the fact that the deadline for depositions has passed. Yesterday Otero issued an order allowing them to do so. There’s a transcription of the order after the break.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Judge James Otero Orders Post-Deadline Deposition Of Plaintiff Organization Coastal Protection Rangers To Take Place By August 24 Or, At The Latest, September 15

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Lunada Bay Boys Defendants Oppose Plaintiffs’ Motion For Administrative Relief With Another ‘Leventy-Dozen Pleadings Filed — Has Angelo Ferrara’s Lawyer Lost His Mind?

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

Recall that about 10 days ago the Lunada Bay Boys plaintiffs filed a motion for administrative relief asking Judge Otero to deny the steaming heap of defense motions for summary judgment. Over the last few days the defendants have filed a ton of stuff in opposition to this motion and there are links to all of it after the break.

The most astonishing item, though, is Angelo Ferrara’s reply. There’s a complete transcription after the break, and it’s certainly worth reading. The words in the cartoon above are taken from this document, and here’s another sample: “If there were an Olympic sport of throwing spaghetti against a wall to see what would stick, Plaintiffs would take home the gold.” Not the least weird aspect of this document is that the lawyer refers to his client (Angelo) by his first name throughout.

Also worth taking a look at are:

  • More exhibits in support of Papayans’ motion — This has a list of the information that the plaintiffs hope(d) to get from Michael Papayans’ cell phone which, as you may recall, has been the subject of a long strange discovery trip of its own.
  • Stipulation to take nonexpert deposition of CPR — The time for depositions is done, but the defendants want to depose the Coastal Protection Rangers after the deadline, not sure why.
  • Blakeman reply brief“The case against Blakeman can be summed up in one sentence: On January 29, 2016, Blakeman allegedly surfed too close to Spencer, filmed Reed getting sprayed with drops of beer, and then, later that night, missed 61 calls from codefendant Sang Lee. There is no evidence linking Blakeman to any conspiracy without wild and unpermitted speculation.”
  • Jalian Johnston reply brief‘From the video of the incident: “fucking sexy baby…want to film it?”; “I seen you and I think I touched myself a little bit”; “I can do whatever I want.” As stated above, mere words cannot amount to an assault. This statement does not support the Plaintiff’s claim.’

Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Defendants Oppose Plaintiffs’ Motion For Administrative Relief With Another ‘Leventy-Dozen Pleadings Filed — Has Angelo Ferrara’s Lawyer Lost His Mind?

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City of PVE And Jeff Kepley And The PVE Police Officers’ Association File Opposition To Motion Because They Don’t Want To Hand Over Text Messages From Cops’ Personal Phones — No One Seems To Be Discussing The Fact That The California Supreme Court Decided In March That Work Information On Personal Phones Is Public Record

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

Last week the plaintiffs in the Lunada Bay Boys case asked magistrate judge Rozella Oliver to sanction the City of PVE because they refused to hand over work-related text messages. Oliver subsequently denied this motion on technical grounds. At roughly the same time the plaintiffs filed a motion for administrative relief, essentially asking Judge Otero to deny the zillions of defense motions for summary judgment because of various discovery failures on the part of the defense.

And tonight the City of PVE and Jeff Kepley filed their opposition to that motion. The most important item is this memorandum of points and authorities which has, as these all seem to, a good discussion of the facts of the dispute.

The main issue seems to be, though, that the plaintiffs’ asked for material from the personal phones of PVE cops and the cop union intervened and said via their lawyer, Howard A. Liberman, that they weren’t going to hand it over because it would violate the officers’ privacy and also it would violate their contract with the City of PVE. The City also argues that they can’t hand it over since they don’t have control over it.

There are links to all the other goodies after the break, by the way, along with more of the usual uninformed speculation.
Continue reading City of PVE And Jeff Kepley And The PVE Police Officers’ Association File Opposition To Motion Because They Don’t Want To Hand Over Text Messages From Cops’ Personal Phones — No One Seems To Be Discussing The Fact That The California Supreme Court Decided In March That Work Information On Personal Phones Is Public Record

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Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs File Motion Asking For $32,000 In Sanctions Against Charlie And Frank Ferrara And Their Lawyers Due To Their “intransigence and disregard for standard discovery protocol and obligations” And Their “failure to abide by the Court’s July 13, 2017 order” — Take That, Bay Boys!

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

Maybe you recall that on July 13, 2017, the plaintiffs in the Lunada Bay Boys case appeared before Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver and complained that Charlie and Frank Ferrara weren’t complying with discovery obligations. This led to Oliver issuing a minute order directing that particular batch of Ferraras to “produce responsive documents from the cell phone imaging and responsive cell phone bills and records by 5 p.m. on Monday, July 17, 2017.”

Well, it appears, to no one’s surprise, that these Ferraras have not complied with this order. Thus, today, plaintiffs’ lawyers Samantha Wolff and Victor Otten filed a motion for monetary sanctions against both the Ferraras and their lawyers based on two allegations:

  1. Defendants Charlie and Frank Ferrara and their counsel willfully failed to preserve electronically stored information and failed to conduct their due diligence in responding to Plaintiffs’ discovery requests, resulting in the spoliation of critical evidence; and
  2. Defendants Charlie and Frank Ferrara and their counsel willfully failed to comply with this Court’s July 13, 2017 Order.


As usual, this motion comes along with a ton of interesting exhibits. Most of them in this case are meet-and-confer emails, progressively more exasperated on the part of the plaintiffs. There are links to everything after the break1 as well as some transcriptions. But first, here are links to what seem to me to be the most interesting items:
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs File Motion Asking For $32,000 In Sanctions Against Charlie And Frank Ferrara And Their Lawyers Due To Their “intransigence and disregard for standard discovery protocol and obligations” And Their “failure to abide by the Court’s July 13, 2017 order” — Take That, Bay Boys!

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Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Motion To Compel Sang Lee And Jeff Kepley To Get Busy And Cough Up The Damn Discovery Is Denied On Highly Technical Grounds By Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

On Tuesday of this week, the Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs filed a motion asking magistrate judge Rozella Oliver to compel defendants Sang “Friend N A Pirate” Lee and Jeff “On Admin Leave” Kepley to get busy and comply with their discovery obligations. The very next day, Wednesday, August 9, Oliver issued an order denying the plaintiffs’ motions.1 As always, there’s a transcription of the order after the break. The reasons for denying the motions are pretty technical2 but seem to hinge on the principle that a decision on them is beyond the authority of the magistrate judge and the plaintiffs have to bring their motions to Judge Otero instead. Not much of a loss, then, it seems.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Motion To Compel Sang Lee And Jeff Kepley To Get Busy And Cough Up The Damn Discovery Is Denied On Highly Technical Grounds By Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver

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Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Ask Otero To Deny Defense Motions Due To Evasion Of Discovery Obligations Which Made It Impossible To Meaningfully Oppose, Also Lengthy Excerpts From Sang Lee’s Deposition! Also Transcript Of A Mindblowingly Weird Telephone Conference With Rozella Oliver About Why Ferraras Didn’t Comply With Discovery Obligations!

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

This case is getting ultra-Byzantine, but if you’re following along, you may recall that the defendants have really not been complying with their discovery obligations. There’s a summary of some of the nonsense available. Also, all the defendants have filed motions for summary judgment, an outline of which and links to various stories on is also available. The Bay Boys based their motions for summary judgment on claims that the plaintiffs haven’t produced any actual evidence against them. At the time, plaintiffs’ lawyer Victor Otten warned them that their failure to comply would be grounds for moving to deny their motions.

And yesterday, that’s exactly what happened. Victor Otten filed this motion for administrative relief, claiming that the failure to comply with discovery has not only made it impossible to reply effectively to the motions for summary judgment, but in fact created the very grounds on which those motions rely:

Plaintiffs’ motion is made on the grounds that, due Defendants’ wrongful withholding of discovery—including withholding discovery that Magistrate Judge Oliver ordered them to produce—Plaintiffs have not had the opportunity to present the entirety of the factual record in opposition to Defendants’ motions. Indeed, Defendants’ basis for summary judgment is a purported lack of evidence; but to grant summary judgment at this stage would be to reward Defendants’ discovery misconduct.

The plaintiffs’ motion is based on Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56(d), which states in part:

If a nonmovant shows by affidavit or declaration that, for specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition, the court may … defer considering the motion or deny it …

A hearing on this motion is scheduled for September 5, 2017 in James Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse. The hearing on all the motions for summary judgment is scheduled for 10 a.m., and some of the paper filed yesterday gives 10 a.m. as the time for the motion to deny. One of the filings gives the time as 9 a.m. That’s probably wrong, but I don’t know for sure.

And there was a bunch of other good stuff filed as well. One of the two absolutely do-not-miss items are a transcript of a telephonic conference with magistrate judge Rozella Oliver concerning Charlie and Frank Ferrara’s failure to comply with discovery orders. This features defense attorney Tiffany Bacon and a bunch of deeply lame excuses for noncompliance. The judge seems dumbfounded that an actual professional lawyer would make these excuses out loud.

Plaintiffs’ lawyer Victor Otten also makes a plausible accusation that the defendants conspired to destroy evidence and an impassioned plea for sanctions against them. The other essential item is a set of lengthy excerpts from Sang Lee’s deposition including a bunch of really damning emails, some of which are quoted in the cartoon above. Turn the page for brief descriptions and links to a bunch of other items.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs Ask Otero To Deny Defense Motions Due To Evasion Of Discovery Obligations Which Made It Impossible To Meaningfully Oppose, Also Lengthy Excerpts From Sang Lee’s Deposition! Also Transcript Of A Mindblowingly Weird Telephone Conference With Rozella Oliver About Why Ferraras Didn’t Comply With Discovery Obligations!

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Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs File Motions To Compel Defendants Sang Lee And Jeff Kepley To Produce Records, Allege Malicious Destruction Of Evidence, Ask For Sanctions And Attorneys’ Fees! Hearing Set For September 6

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

A constant theme in the Lunada Bay Boys zillionaire surf thuggery case has been the glacially like-teeth-pulling pace at which the Bay Boys1 have complied with their discovery obligations. The parties have had innumerable telephonic hearings with the Honorable Rozella Oliver, magistrate judge in the case, who has had order meet-and-confers, and order the parties to submit briefs on their attempts to get through discovery, and issue orders, and issue even more orders.

Well today, at least with respect to defendants Sang Lee and Jeff Kepley, matters have evidently reached the point that the plaintiffs have filed motions to compel production of discovery materials and they’re also asking for fees and costs. Here are copies of the two motions along with associated so-called proposed joint statements, which are actually more interesting, containing as they do the facts behind the motions:

The issues, in short, are as follows. With respect to Sang Lee, he improperly withheld text messages, produced an unintelligible privilege log, lied about what he redacted, and so on. With respect to Jeff Kepley, he produced the wrong stuff, produced it in the form of unsearchable image files,2 made improper arguments for not producing stuff, and, crucially, never produced the phone records of various PVE cops who are alleged to be asshole buddies with the Bay Boys.

A hearing on these motions is scheduled for Wednesday, September 6 at 10:00 a.m. in Judge Rozella Oliver’s courtroom F on the 9th floor of the Spring Street federal courthouse at 312 N. Spring Street. Also, a bunch of fairly interesting supplementary material was filed in support of the motions, and you can find links and brief descriptions after the break.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs File Motions To Compel Defendants Sang Lee And Jeff Kepley To Produce Records, Allege Malicious Destruction Of Evidence, Ask For Sanctions And Attorneys’ Fees! Hearing Set For September 6

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Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs File Tons Of Stuff In Opposition To Individual Defendants’ Various Motions For Summary Judgment Including Excerpts From The Long Awaited Deposition Of Jalian Johnston!

For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on this lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in this case.

You may well recall that recently all the defendants in the Lunada Bay Boys case filed motions for summary judgment:

And this afternoon the plaintiffs filed their opposition to all these motions along with a ton of supporting paper. The opposition is well worth reading, and there are selections after the break. There’s also a list of all the other documents filed, and if you only read one of these, make it these selections from Jalian Johnston’s deposition. You may well remember that it was close to impossible to schedule this damn depo. Well, for sheer weirdness, it was worth the wait.

Some items are quoted verbatim in the cartoon at the head of this post, but there’s lots, lots, lots more in there. It’s also worth taking a look at the Plaintiffs’ Additional Material Facts in Opposition, which constitutes a good guide to all the dozens of other items filed tonight and previously.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Plaintiffs File Tons Of Stuff In Opposition To Individual Defendants’ Various Motions For Summary Judgment Including Excerpts From The Long Awaited Deposition Of Jalian Johnston!

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