Category Archives: Lawsuits

Get To The Bay And Rouste [sic] Those Kooks! Newly Obtained Papayans Text Messages Prove Bay Boy Conspiracy To Deny Cory Spencer Access To The Water — Also, News From Thursday’s Hearing On Sanctions Against Charlie And Frank Ferrara And Sang Lee For, Among Other Things, Destroying Evidence

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.

I apologize for having neglected the Lunada Bay Boys case lately, but I’ve just been so overwhelmed with the Skid Row Neighborhood Council matter that I haven’t had time for much else. There have, however, been a number of interesting developments in this matter as well.

First of all, recall that the cell phone of Bay Boys defendant Michael Papayans was in LAPD custody after his notorious arrest for beating up a man in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium. Once the LAPD gets its hands on evidence it seems that they don’t give it up so very easily, and thus, in July, the Honorable Rozella Oliver, magistrate judge in the case, ordered them to hand it over for analysis. Well, they evidently did so, and, on October 9, a bunch of text messages from the phone were filed with the court. You must read these texts! It seems to me that they pretty much prove the plaintiffs’ case. Here are some highlights:

  • Yeah get down there I’ll be up as soon as I can my dad should be going out soon
  • Yea, only 5 guys out and he’s out, I’m going
  • I hate this guy
  • Are they in the water
  • He’s in the water. Only five guys out. Get down here boys. I’m out there
  • Kooks up there
  • Get him Charlie, just go shake his hand, tell him we missed him and can’t believe he didn’t make any of these latest headlines, he should be ashamed
  • Lol ok I’m on my way !
  • Michelle get to the bay and rouste [sic] those kooks
  • there are two kooks he’s got a little baldheaded white guy with them he looks like a boogie board or to fuck what a joke!
  • The kook is here at the bay right now
  • I don’t know how I get put on these threads but its hilarious :)


And the other news is that the hearing on sanctions against defendants Charlie and Frank Ferrara and Sang Lee for discovery shenanigans took place on Thursday as scheduled. What a wild ride!
Continue reading Get To The Bay And Rouste [sic] Those Kooks! Newly Obtained Papayans Text Messages Prove Bay Boy Conspiracy To Deny Cory Spencer Access To The Water — Also, News From Thursday’s Hearing On Sanctions Against Charlie And Frank Ferrara And Sang Lee For, Among Other Things, Destroying Evidence

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Lunada Bay Boys Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Rules That Mostly Plaintiffs Can File Supplemental Oppositions To Individual Defendants’ Motions For Summary Judgment But Not In The Case Of City Defendants For Some Damn Reason

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 discovery problems in this case are getting exceedingly hard to follow. At this point they seem to be divisible into two main categories. There are the motions for sanctions, which are set for a hearing next week. And then there is the plaintiffs’ motion for administrative relief, which is based on the various and sundry motions for summary judgment filed by the various and sundry defendants in combination with the fact that those various and same defendants have not been forthcoming with discovery materials. The argument is that without access to the discovery material the plaintiffs haven’t been able to adequately respond to the motions for summary judgment.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Rules That Mostly Plaintiffs Can File Supplemental Oppositions To Individual Defendants’ Motions For Summary Judgment But Not In The Case Of City Defendants For Some Damn Reason

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I Don’t Know Much About The Law But This Latest Pleading Filed By The City Of PVE Seems Pretty Crackpot To Me — Are They Really Arguing That Mark Velez Was Automatically Named As A Party To The Case When Jeff Kepley Resigned And Therefore It Is Vexatious Harassment To Suggest To The Court That Mark Velez Be Named As A Party?!

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 couple weeks ago the plaintiffs in this most Byzantine of cases filed “a suggestion” to the court, which evidently is a genuine type of pleading, noting that because Jeff Kepley was being sued in his official capacity and had resigned as chief of the PVEPD, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(d) required that he be automatically dropped as a party to the suit and his successor, who is Mark Velez, acting chief of the PVEPD, be substituted in.

Well, on Tuesday, the City filed a response to the suggestion which, I think, claims that because FRCP 25(d) provides that Jeff Kepley was automatically substituted out and Mark Velez substituted in, the court need not do anything and therefore the suggestion “serves no purpose other than to harass Captain Velez by subjecting him to the publicity of being named as a defendant in this lawsuit” when he’s going to be removed as chief in a few weeks.

I mean, I admit I’m not a lawyer and that I only have a tenuous grasp of what’s going on in many of these papers, but this one seems particularly crazy to me. Everyone admits that Kepley is no longer a party and that Velez is now a party and that this happened automatically when Kepley resigned. Everyone admits that it doesn’t matter what the judge does about it.

So why is it wrong to bring Jeff Kepley’s resignation to the attention of the Judge? How’s he supposed to find out about it if no one tells him? Why does mentioning Mark Velez’s appearance as a defendent constitute harassment after it has already happened? Well, the answer is probably, as is often the case with these people, “who freaking knows?!” There’s a transcription, as always, after the break.
Continue reading I Don’t Know Much About The Law But This Latest Pleading Filed By The City Of PVE Seems Pretty Crackpot To Me — Are They Really Arguing That Mark Velez Was Automatically Named As A Party To The Case When Jeff Kepley Resigned And Therefore It Is Vexatious Harassment To Suggest To The Court That Mark Velez Be Named As A Party?!

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Judge James Otero Issues Order Denying City Of LA’s Motion To Clarify His Preliminary Injunction Against Enforcement Of LAMC §56.11 In Skid Row

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.

Recall that in May 2016 the City of Los Angeles filed a motion asking Judge James Otero to clarify his preliminary injunction against enforcement of the abhorrent LAMC §56.11 within the boundaries of Skid Row. Recently plaintiffs’ attorney Carol Sobel filed a scathing opposition to the City’s motion. Otero then ruled that he could dispose of the motion without a hearing.

Earlier today he filed an order doing just that. He denied the City’s motion entirely and accused them of asking him to rule on abstractions and complex constitutional issues which had not yet come up in practice in this case. This he declined to do, rightly in my opinion, leaving the City with no option but to buckle down and follow the freaking law for once. There’s a transcription after the break.
Continue reading Judge James Otero Issues Order Denying City Of LA’s Motion To Clarify His Preliminary Injunction Against Enforcement Of LAMC §56.11 In Skid Row

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Lunada Bay Boys News Roundup: More Discovery Matters, October 12 Hearing Set Before Rozella Oliver — Tiffany Bacon Withdraws As Attorney To Ferraras — Plaintiffs File Memorandum Supporting Discovery Request For Work-Related Texts From PVEPD Officers’ Personal Cell Phones

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 latest episode in the ongoing nightmare that is the discovery process in this case is summarized in this minute order setting the schedule for dealing with the plaintiffs’ motion for sanctions against Charlie and Frank Ferrara and Sang Lee. You can read a transcription after the break to get the details, but essentially everyone has to meet and confer and a strict briefing schedule is set. There is an in-person hearing scheduled for October 12 at 10 a.m. in Courtroom F on the ninth floor of the Spring Street Federal Courthouse.

And turn the page for the story on the other items mentioned in the headline!
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys News Roundup: More Discovery Matters, October 12 Hearing Set Before Rozella Oliver — Tiffany Bacon Withdraws As Attorney To Ferraras — Plaintiffs File Memorandum Supporting Discovery Request For Work-Related Texts From PVEPD Officers’ Personal Cell Phones

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Tentative Settlement Reached In Street Vending Lawsuit Against Fashion District BID And City Of Los Angeles

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.

The monumental lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the Fashion District BID for their abominable treatment of street vendors was set for trial in January. However, papers filed with the court yesterday announce that the plaintiffs have reached a settlement with the City and as soon as it’s approved, a process which can take many months for it to work its way through Committees and Council, they will drop the case against both the City and the BID. Hence they asked Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell to put the calendar on hold until the settlement is approved.

Today Virginia Phillips, Chief Judge of the local federal district, issued an order vacating the schedule in anticipation of this settlement. You can read the joint notice of pending settlement that inspired the order, and, as always, there’s a transcript of both documents after the break.
Continue reading Tentative Settlement Reached In Street Vending Lawsuit Against Fashion District BID And City Of Los Angeles

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Who Is In Charge Of The Palos Verdes Estates Police Department? Jeff Kepley Is Definitely Out, But Other Than That No One At The City Is Talking, At Least They’re Not Talking To Judge James Otero

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

A very peculiar pleading in this most peculiar of cases hit PACER last night, in . It seems that PVE police chief Jeff Kepley retired at some point recently. Since he’s being sued in his official capacity rather than his personal capacity, it appears that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(d) requires that Jeff Kepley be dropped from the suit and his successor named instead:

Public Officers; Death or Separation from Office. An action does not abate when a public officer who is a party in an official capacity dies, resigns, or otherwise ceases to hold office while the action is pending. The officer’s successor is automatically substituted as a party. Later proceedings should be in the substituted party’s name, but any misnomer not affecting the parties’ substantial rights must be disregarded. The court may order substitution at any time, but the absence of such an order does not affect the substitution.

So, very reasonably, it seems, plaintiffs’ attorney Kurt Franklin filed a Suggestion to the Court that the acting Chief, who seems to be Mark Velez at this point, be substituted in.1 This seems to be fairly inconsequential in that the rule seems to say that the substitution happens irrespective of whether anyone acknowledges it, but it also seems like the kind of thing one would want to tell the court about. If it comes up later and one knew about it and didn’t tell the court, how weird is that going to look?

Not that the City of PVE is worried about such niceties. As with everything to do with the City’s involvement in this case, the events leading up to this filing have an air of shady incompetence, evasion, and deception. It hasn’t yet been proven that this weirdo little City on a Hill has anything to hide, but they surely do act as if they do. So what’s one more little item like not telling the court that the freaking chief of police retired?

As always there’s a transcription after the break, as well as a timeline of key events.
Continue reading Who Is In Charge Of The Palos Verdes Estates Police Department? Jeff Kepley Is Definitely Out, But Other Than That No One At The City Is Talking, At Least They’re Not Talking To Judge James Otero

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Judge Otero Rules That No Hearing Is Necessary On City Of LA’s Motion To Clarify Preliminary Injunction In Mitchell Case, Cancels Hearing Scheduled For Monday September 11

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.

Recall that in May 2016 the City of Los Angeles filed a motion asking Judge James Otero to clarify his preliminary injunction against enforcement of the abhorrent LAMC §56.11 within the boundaries of Skid Row. Recently plaintiffs’ attorney Carol Sobel filed a scathing opposition to the City’s motion and a hearing was set for Monday, September 11.

Well, just yesterday Judge James Otero ruled that he didn’t need a hearing in order to decide on the motion and thereby cancelled it. This was published on PACER as one of those text-only notices, no PDF associated, and you can read what there is of it after the break.
Continue reading Judge Otero Rules That No Hearing Is Necessary On City Of LA’s Motion To Clarify Preliminary Injunction In Mitchell Case, Cancels Hearing Scheduled For Monday September 11

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Lunada Bay Boys Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Schedules Telephonic Hearing To Determine How To Proceed On The Manifold Motions Regarding Discovery Disputes Sent Over By Judge Otero For September 5, Orders, To The Delight Of Everyone Who Has To Pay PACER Fees, That No Further Briefs Be Filed Unless Requested

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

NOTE: Because I was asked, I thought I’d just announce that I’m sorry for the lack of cartoons. For the next week I’m forced to use a substandard computer. The cartoons will return on or about September 5 if all goes as planned.

Yesterday Judge James Otero bestowed sufficient authority upon Magistrate Judge Oliver to decide all the pending motions relating to discovery shenanigans on the parts of the various defendants, including the plaintiffs’ monumental motion for administrative relief. Well, Oliver is no slacker — today the Magistrate Judge issued an order scheduling a telephonic hearing on all the pending discovery matters for September 5. The purpose of this hearing, it seems, isn’t to decide the issues, but to agree on what further briefs and proceedings will be necessary to decide the issues. As always, there’s a transcript after the break.
Continue reading Lunada Bay Boys Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Schedules Telephonic Hearing To Determine How To Proceed On The Manifold Motions Regarding Discovery Disputes Sent Over By Judge Otero For September 5, Orders, To The Delight Of Everyone Who Has To Pay PACER Fees, That No Further Briefs Be Filed Unless Requested

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City of Los Angeles Files Unconvincing Response To Carol Sobel’s Opposition To City’s Motion For Clarification Of Judge Otero’s Preliminary Injunction Against Confiscation Of Homeless People’s Property In Skid Row, Basically Ask Court To Allow Them To Confiscate Incident To Arrest Even If There’s A Third Party To Take Property Cause Cops Don’t Have Time To Do The Right Thing

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.

Last week it came out that ongoing settlement talks in Mitchell v. City of Los Angeles had broken down, leading to the plaintiffs filing an opposition to the City’s motion for clarification of Judge Otero’s April 2016 preliminary injunction against the City. Yesterday the City filed a reply to Sobel’s opposition (PDF, transcription after the break).

The City’s argument is based on the highly dubious assertion that “Throughout all of its efforts, the City strives to balance the need of all of the City’s residents to have clean, sanitary, and accessible public areas, including sidewalks, with the needs of “the City’s large and vulnerable homeless population” and they just need clarification “…to ensure that its employees who are responsible for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of every person living or working in the Skid Row area clearly understand, and are in a position to successfully implement, the terms of the Court’s Order.”

Of course, it’s much, much more likely that the City’s goal is to harass homeless people so mercilessly that they all leave, freeing up the valuable real estate of Skid Row for the Downtown developers who hungering so fiercely for it. And I apologize that I can’t go into more detail, but, as I said, there’s a transcription after the break.
Continue reading City of Los Angeles Files Unconvincing Response To Carol Sobel’s Opposition To City’s Motion For Clarification Of Judge Otero’s Preliminary Injunction Against Confiscation Of Homeless People’s Property In Skid Row, Basically Ask Court To Allow Them To Confiscate Incident To Arrest Even If There’s A Third Party To Take Property Cause Cops Don’t Have Time To Do The Right Thing

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