Category Archives: Lawsuits

World Exclusive News Flash!! Lunada Bay Boys Surf Gang Has Started Rebuilding Illegal Rock Fort On Public Beach At Lunada Bay — Amended Class Action Complaint Filed By Plaintiffs In Los Angeles County Superior Court On Friday — A Gripping And Nauseating Account Of Decades Of Multigenerational Rapey Racist Violence By Spoiled Brat Zillionaire Localist Surf Thugs

As of April 2018 the vicious gang of zillionaire thugs known as the Lunada Bay Boys have started rebuilding their illegal rock fort on the beach at Lunada Bay. Click photos to enlarge.
For background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on the federal lawsuit. Also see here to download all pleadings in the federal case and see here for the state court pleadings. You can also read all my posts on both cases.

I haven’t been writing on the Lunada Bay Boys case since District Court Judge James Otero dismissed most of the federal part, although the state action still continues. This hasn’t been out of a lack of interest, but mostly because other things keep coming up, and also I’m familiar with PACER and know very little about state level courts’ document systems. But I’m taking the story up again!

The big newsflash is that the Lunada Bay Boys, thuggish white-privilege-fueled morons that they are, evidently couldn’t live without their damn rock fort. Or they couldn’t live with the fact that some government agency, controlled by darkies, just ask them, had the power to force the demolition of their damn rock fort. It amounts to the same thing in the end, and, as the photos at the top of this post, taken in April 2018, demonstrate, they have started rebuilding it, contrary to the laws of God and the State of California. This, they’re going to pay for. They’re too blinded by white privilege to see it, but it’s nevertheless true as true can be.

And I started a page on Archive.Org to collect the pleadings going forward. There are two items in there now, and turn the page for links and brief discussion.
Continue reading World Exclusive News Flash!! Lunada Bay Boys Surf Gang Has Started Rebuilding Illegal Rock Fort On Public Beach At Lunada Bay — Amended Class Action Complaint Filed By Plaintiffs In Los Angeles County Superior Court On Friday — A Gripping And Nauseating Account Of Decades Of Multigenerational Rapey Racist Violence By Spoiled Brat Zillionaire Localist Surf Thugs

Share

Judge James Chalfant Issues Final Judgment In Okulick Petition Against The Venice Beach BID — The News Is Not Good, Friends, Even Though It Seemed Last Month Like It Was Going To Be


I created a page on Archive.Org to collect pleadings from the Okulicks’ case, and you can find it right here. Unfortunately right now I only have the original petition and yesterday’s tentative ruling, since adopted as final. This article from the Times is also useful background.

Yesterday afternoon the final hearing in the Okulick’s lawsuit against the Venice Beach BID took place before Judge James C. Chalfant in Department 85 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. One of the petitioners’ claims was that BIDs don’t give any special benefits to property owners whose parcels are zoned commercial but are used solely as owner-occupied residential.

Last month, it seems, Chalfant agreed with the petitioners, stating in his tentative ruling at that time that:

The Petition for writ of mandate is granted in part. Only the portion of the assessment directed to properties used by their owner exclusively as their residence is unlawful. A writ shall issue directing a refund of that portion of the assessment and Petitioners are entitled to a declaratory judgment to that effect. In all other respects, the Petition is denied.

However, it seems that the respondents, i.e. the City of Los Angeles and the Venice Beach BID, convinced him to hold off on making this ruling final to allow for another round of briefing just on the specific part where he found in favor of the Okulicks. I don’t have copies of those briefs, but yesterday’s hearing consisted of the oral argument surrounding them. Whatever the City of LA put in its brief did the nasty trick, evidently.

By yesterday Chalfant had changed his mind completely, and nothing that the petitioners’ lawyer, the brave, the honorable Geoffrey T. Stover, could say would sway the judge. Turn the page for the money quote from yesterday’s bad news tentative ruling and a little bit of amateur discussion based on notes I took at the hearing.
Continue reading Judge James Chalfant Issues Final Judgment In Okulick Petition Against The Venice Beach BID — The News Is Not Good, Friends, Even Though It Seemed Last Month Like It Was Going To Be

Share

Mere Moments Ago Judge David Carter Issues Minute Order Extending His Temporary Restraining Order Against Orange County Or Cities Evicting Homeless People From Santa Ana River Bed Until The End Of Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 14

For background, see Luke Money‘s excellent coverage in the Times, starting with this January 29 article on the Lawsuit and continuing with this article on the February 13 hearing. Coverage is also being handled by Hannah Fry and Doug Smith. You can also download selected pleadings in the case from our Archive.Org site.

This morning a hearing was held before Judge David Carter on the plaintiffs’ motion to grant a temporary order restraining local governments from evicting or arresting homeless people on the bed of the Santa Ana River1 Last week, in anticipation of today’s hearing, Carter issued a temporary injunction which is set to expire at midnight tonight.

Today’s hearing was meant to determine whether the injunction should be extended. It seems that the hearing is continuing over until tomorrow, because mere moments ago he filed a minute order extending the temporary restraining order until tomorrow night “[b]ecause the hearing is continuing to February 14, 2018.”Look for the final order here, and find a transcription of tonight’s order after the break.
Continue reading Mere Moments Ago Judge David Carter Issues Minute Order Extending His Temporary Restraining Order Against Orange County Or Cities Evicting Homeless People From Santa Ana River Bed Until The End Of Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 14

Share

Lunada Bay Boys Judge Otero Grants City Of Palos Verdes Estates And Former Chief Jeff Kepley’s Motion For Summary Judgment, Meaning They Are Out Of The Case!

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 can also read all my posts on the case.

This is a very short note to announce the breaking news that James Otero, judge in the Lunada Bay Boys case, filed an order last night granting the motion of the City of Palos Verdes Estates and Jeff Kepley for summary judgment. Thus these two defendants are out of the case at this point. The plaintiffs’ theory with respect to these defendants was that they conspired with the Bay Boys to keep outsiders from surfing Lunada Bay.

Plaintiffs alleged two means by which this happened. First, that the City enforced laws, e.g. traffic laws, more harshly against outsiders than against locals. Second, that the City refused to protect outsiders from harassment by locals. The basic finding in the order is that the plaintiffs don’t have enough evidence to support the first kind of claim and that the City as a matter of law has no affirmative duty to protect anyone from harassment or attacks. I apologize for the fact that I don’t have time this morning to transcribe even part of the order, but I recommend it as very interesting, if disappointing, reading.

Share

Lunada Bay Boys Judge James Otero Accepts Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver’s Report And Recommendation With Respect To Defendant Brant Blakeman, Thereby Putting Him On The Hook For Monetary Sanctions To Plaintiffs, A New Deposition On His Dime, And Plaintiffs Will Be Allowed To Present Evidence At Trial About Blakeman’s Missing Texts

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 can also read all my posts on the case.

Listen, I really apologize for the fact that the last you, my audience heard, the Lunada Bay Boys trial was scheduled for February 6. In December Otero cancelled this trial date and has not yet set a new one. I’m not sure why I didn’t write about it, but I didn’t. As soon as a new trial date is set I’ll let you know, and will do my very best to keep on top of announcing cancellations.

The last time we heard from the Bay Boys or their attorneys was in January of this year, with Brant Blakeman mouthpiece Thomas Stobart arguing against Rozella Oliver’s report and recommendation for sanctions against Blakeman for his failure to preserve a bunch of his text messages. His argument essentially consisted of putting scare quotes around everything Oliver wrote in her report, possibly intending to make her recommendations against his client seem silly or something.

That her recommendations were not silly was and is completely obvious to anyone who read Oliver’s report, and thus it was in some sense no surprise that this morning, Judge James Otero filed an order accepting Oliver’s report and recommendations for sanctions against Brant Blakeman. There’s a transcription of this PDF after the break.

In short, though, it requires Blakeman to pay plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs for the motion for sanctions against him and to submit to another deposition about the text messages he did not preserve (and to pay plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs for the deposition). It also allows the plaintiffs to present evidence at trial about the missing text messages. It’s not the entire war, but it’s a significant tactical victory for the plaintiffs. Turn the page for a transcription of Otero’s order.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Judge James Otero Accepts Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver’s Report And Recommendation With Respect To Defendant Brant Blakeman, Thereby Putting Him On The Hook For Monetary Sanctions To Plaintiffs, A New Deposition On His Dime, And Plaintiffs Will Be Allowed To Present Evidence At Trial About Blakeman’s Missing Texts

Share

Amicus Briefs Filed In Orange County Catholic Worker Case In Support Of Injunction Against Evictions, Hearing On Tuesday Morning, February 13

For background, see Luke Money‘s excellent coverage in the Times, starting with this January 29 article on the Lawsuit and continuing with this article on the February 13 hearing. You can also download selected pleadings in the case from our Archive.Org site.

Last week Judge Carter issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Orange County, the City of Anaheim, and anyone else who might be minded to do so from arresting anyone on the bed of the Santa Ana River for trespassing, camping, and similar anti-homeless offenses. Prior to this, on February 4, in the order setting the fast-approaching February 13 hearing1 on the plaintiffs’ original application for a restraining order, Carter invited a broad range of non-parties to appear at Tuesday’s hearing:

The Court also welcomes attendance at the hearing and written briefing by any amicus groups, which may include veterans’ organizations, service providers, abused women’s protection and housing organizations, and other cities affected by the homelessness crisis in Orange County that are not named as Defendants in this case.

Well, beginning last Friday and continuing on through tonight, a number of amicus briefs were filed. You can find a list and links to the actual pleadings after the break. Also, although I’m not really committing myself to covering every aspect of this case, it’s been really interesting so far, so I went ahead and set up a page on the Archive to collect pleadings.
Continue reading Amicus Briefs Filed In Orange County Catholic Worker Case In Support Of Injunction Against Evictions, Hearing On Tuesday Morning, February 13

Share

In Response To Emergency Motion Filed Yesterday By Plaintiffs, Last Night Federal Judge David Carter Issued Temporary Injunction Forbidding Orange County From Arresting Homeless People On The Santa Ana Riverbed Pending The Scheduled Hearing On February 13

For background, see Luke Money‘s excellent coverage in the Times, starting with this January 29 article on the Lawsuit and continuing with Monday’s article on the February 13 hearing.

UPDATE: The Times (finally) got around to covering this development this afternoon. Here’s their story on the temporary restraining order.

I’m not really covering the lawsuit, filed on January 29, by the Orange County Catholic Worker and Carol Sobel’s law firm against Orange County for civil rights violations incurred against homeless human beings living on the bed of the Santa Ana River.1 You can read the initial complaint here to get an idea of what’s going on.

Yesterday afternoon the plaintiffs asked the County when they were going to start arresting people living on the riverbed and the County replied at 5:31 p.m. that arrests would begin today, February 7. Read the entire email exchange here:

Consequently, beginning tomorrow morning, OCSD personnel will begin advising people remaining on the District Santa Ana Riverbed property that they must vacate or may be cited and/or arrested for trespassing.

This prompted the plaintiffs to file an Emergency Request to Stay Arrests with the court. The metadata of that PDF suggests it was written at 5:59 yesterday, about half an hour after the County’s reply. There is a transcription after the break.

This, in turn, prompted the court to issue an Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order forbidding the County from arresting homeless human beings on the riverbed for trespassing, loitering, or camping, until the hearing on February 13. The metadata of that PDF suggests that it was written at 11:11 p.m. yesterday. There is a transcription after the break.
Continue reading In Response To Emergency Motion Filed Yesterday By Plaintiffs, Last Night Federal Judge David Carter Issued Temporary Injunction Forbidding Orange County From Arresting Homeless People On The Santa Ana Riverbed Pending The Scheduled Hearing On February 13

Share

Street Vending Lawsuit Teetering On Brink Of Settlement: Check Cut By City And Plaintiffs Have Signed Release But Defendants Have Not Yet Signed — Carol Sobel Anticipates Dismissal Within Two Weeks

You can read up on the background in this 2015 LA times story and also in our multiple stories on the subject. Most of the paper filed in the case is available here.

About five weeks ago a pending settlement was announced in the monumental street vending case brought by brave local civil rights attorneys on behalf of a number of street vendors against the diabolical forces of the City of Los Angeles and the Fashion District BID.

Well, nothing moves fast in Federal Court, so it’s no surprise that it’s taken this long to even get a hint of what’s happening behind the scenes. However, finally, yesterday afternoon plaintiffs’ attorney Carol Sobel filed a status report (transcription of this PDF after the break) with the court stating that things are moving along, that the City has cut a check for the settlement amount, presumably $150,000 as previously announced, and that the plaintiffs have signed the release. The defendants have not yet signed, but she anticipates that everything will be finished and the case will be dismissed within two weeks.1
Continue reading Street Vending Lawsuit Teetering On Brink Of Settlement: Check Cut By City And Plaintiffs Have Signed Release But Defendants Have Not Yet Signed — Carol Sobel Anticipates Dismissal Within Two Weeks

Share

Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Brant Blakeman Objects To Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver’s Recommendation That He Be Sanctioned Via The Sarcastic Use Of About A Zillion Scare Quotes — Meanwhile Judge Otero Issues Order Accepting Oliver’s Recommendations With Respect To Charlie and Frank Ferrara and Sang Lee And Thereby Casts Much Doubt On The Likely Efficacy Of Blakeman’s Middle-School-Style Strategy

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 can also read all my posts on the case.

So maybe you recall that in December, Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver filed an amended report and recommendation to the court regarding the plaintiffs’ motions for sanctions against Charlie and Frank Ferrara and Sang Lee for their plausibly willful mishandling of evidence in the case. Yesterday Judge James Otero filed an order accepting Oliver’s recommendations. In particular, following Oliver’s recommendations precisely, Otero ruled:

… that Plaintiffs are permitted to depose Defendants Sang Lee, Charlie Ferrara, and Frank Ferrara regarding issues relevant to spoliation, with costs to be shared by Plaintiffs and the deposed Defendants. At trial, the parties will be permitted to present evidence and argument related to the unrecoverable text messages for Defendant Lee and the Ferrara Defendants and the unavailable cellular billing records for Charlie Ferrara.

This was not unexpected, but it’s interesting nevertheless. However, the plaintiffs’ motion for sanctions against these three clowns was not the only such motion concerning which Rozella Oliver has recommendations. There’s also, of course, her report on Brant Blakeman and his wildly antisocial handling of evidence in his possession. Well, on December 27, John Stobart, Blakeman’s lawyer, filed an opposition to Oliver’s recommendations, and this morning the plaintiffs responded to Blakeman’s objection. The two pleadings are available here:

The plaintiffs’ response was written by the agressively sane Samantha Wolff of Hanson Bridgett. And it’s definitely worth reading, but it’s, you know, competent, prudent, measured, and so on. Therefore there’s not much for me to comment on.

On the other hand, Brant Blakeman’s objection, written by John Stobart, is, as befits the rapiest Bay Boy, a surreal sludge pot of scare quotes, sophomoric sarcasm, and generalized cack-handedness, and, as such, is required reading!1

Selections after the break, and please, note that I didn’t add a single quotation mark. Not a single one. Footnotes also are as in the original,2 and read them if you want to see some of John Stobart’s most flamboyantly weird scare quotation.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Defendant Brant Blakeman Objects To Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver’s Recommendation That He Be Sanctioned Via The Sarcastic Use Of About A Zillion Scare Quotes — Meanwhile Judge Otero Issues Order Accepting Oliver’s Recommendations With Respect To Charlie and Frank Ferrara and Sang Lee And Thereby Casts Much Doubt On The Likely Efficacy Of Blakeman’s Middle-School-Style Strategy

Share

Lunada Bay Boys Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Recommends That Because Defendant Brant Blakeman Failed To Preserve Text Messages After He Became Aware Of The Lawsuit He Must Pay Attorneys’ Fees And Costs For Motion For Sanctions And Cover Costs Of Additional Deposition On Subject Of What Happened To The Damn Text Messages!

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 can also read all my posts on the case.

At this point the Lunada Bay Boys discovery-related complaints, cross-complaints, bitching, cross-bitching, moaning, cross-moaning, and so on and on and on have gotten so tortuously complexicated that there’s essentially no way to summarize them any longer. However, I will remind you all that there was a hearing on December 6 before Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver on spoliation of evidence by the City Defendants1 and most rapiest Bay Boy defendant Sr. Brant Blakeman.

At issue were some text messages that Blakeman failed to preserve. The texts were on a phone issued to him by the City of PVE, which is why they were involved. The plaintiffs asked Oliver to find that Blakeman and the City not only had a duty to preserve the texts but that they had been so adversely affected by their destruction that the court ought to make Blakeman and the City pay fines, pay fees, pay costs, their motions for summary judgment ought to be denied out of hand, and an instruction to the jury stating that they should draw an adverse implication from the destruction of the texts. Blakeman and the City argued that they didn’t do anything wrong at all because they had no duty to preserve anything. Just yesterday Magistrate Judge Oliver issued her report and recommendations on the issues raised during the hearing.

With respect to the City, Oliver found that while they did have a legal obligation to preserve evidence starting earlier than they claimed, no evidence was lost specifically due to the City’s inaction, so she declined to recommend any sanctions against the City. Blakeman, on the other hand, did a few bad things, according to the Magistrate Judge.

First of all, he did have a duty to preserve the text messages. Also he failed to take reasonable steps to preserve them. Finally, the text messages were lost because of his inaction, and this prejudices the plaintiffs’ case. However, Oliver declines to find that Blakeman did it on purpose,2 and so she declines to recommend the most harsh sanctions possible.

Basically, she’s recommending that Blakeman have to pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys for their costs and fees in bringing the motion for sanctions against him, and that he submit to an additional deposition that he pay for on the subject of what happened to the text messages. Additionally she recommends that the plaintiffs be allowed to present evidence to the jury about his failure to preserve and that if Judge Otero thinks it’s justified at trial, he consider allowing an instruction to the jury on what kind of inferences they can draw from Blakeman’s actions. Finally, she declined to recommend that Blakeman’s motion for summary judgment be dismissed a priori. Turn the page for transcribed selections.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Recommends That Because Defendant Brant Blakeman Failed To Preserve Text Messages After He Became Aware Of The Lawsuit He Must Pay Attorneys’ Fees And Costs For Motion For Sanctions And Cover Costs Of Additional Deposition On Subject Of What Happened To The Damn Text Messages!

Share