Tag Archives: Appellate Court

February 5, 2003: The Very First Known Public Records Act Ever Received by the HPOA and Kerry Morrison was Already Offended

Kerry Morrison on February 18, 2016, the 13th anniversary of her receipt of an offensive letter from a lawyer regarding the very first known CPRA request to the HPOA.
Kerry Morrison on February 18, 2016, the 13th anniversary of her receipt of an “offensive” letter from a lawyer regarding the very first known CPRA request to the HPOA.
Electronic versions of the HPOA Board of Directors minutes from 1996 through 2006 haven’t been retained by the HPOA, so while waiting on physical copies1 to publish here, I’m taking advantage of good old section 6253(a) of CPRA,2 which tells us that:

Public records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the state or local agency and every person has a right to inspect any public record, except as hereafter provided.

Consequently, last Thursday I went over to HPOA secret headquarters on Hollywood Boulevard to read through this material, something I plan to make a regular habit of doing.
Justice Walter Croskey wrote the landmark 2001 opinion in Epstein v. Hollywood Entertainment District BID.
Justice Walter Croskey wrote the landmark 2001 opinion in Epstein v. Hollywood Entertainment District BID.
And there is much fascinating material there, not least of which is the complete unfolding in real time of Aaron Epstein’s epic lawsuit against the HPOA. This ended, of course, in a landmark 2001 decision by the Second District of the California Court of Appeal making BIDs subject to both the Brown Act and CPRA. That story is woven through years and years worth of minutes, so it must wait for the copies to arrive. However, I was able to photograph3 a description of the very first CPRA request known to have been received by the HPOA (on February 5, 2003).

Read on for what it said:
Continue reading February 5, 2003: The Very First Known Public Records Act Ever Received by the HPOA and Kerry Morrison was Already Offended

Federal Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Shows Up BIDs for the Mewling and Puking Liars they Are

The brave, the stalwart, the wise federal judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, kicking ass and taking names.
The brave, the stalwart, the wise federal judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, kicking ass and taking names.
Note that formerly Ukrainian first amendment maven and all-round mensch Eugene Volokh has already explained this better than we’re ever going to, so you may want to hop over to there for background. TL;DR is that the city of Inglewood sued Inglewood resident Joseph Teixeira in federal court, claiming that Teixeira’s reuse of their city-produced videos of city council meetings to create weaponized mockery of, among others, Inglewood mayor James Butts violated their copyright in said videos.

Well, Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (that’s federalese for “Los Angeles”) not only dismissed Inglewood’s case, he terminated it with extreme prejudice. You can read the order here if you wish, and it’s smoking hot. The salient bit for this blog is, according to Volokh, that:

The court held that, under California law (see, e.g., County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. 2009)), cities can’t claim copyright in public records. And while the city claims that this provision is trumped by federal copyright law, the court rejected that argument — federal law treats local governments as political subdivisions of the state, and a state has the power to control what its subdivisions do (including which federal rights they claim).

Now, I can hear you all murmuring and wondering out there in internetlandia, saying “sure, Kohlhaas, we hear you, but what does this got to do with the BIDs??!” Well, friends, we’re glad you asked!
Continue reading Federal Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Shows Up BIDs for the Mewling and Puking Liars they Are

No One Shall Expel Us from the Paradise Epstein has Created for us

Aaron Epstein directing the attention of two concerned citizens to the paradise he has created for them
Aaron Epstein directs the attention of two concerned citizens to the paradise he has created for them whilst a bunch of homeless creatures, some of them in violation of Los Angeles Municipal Code §41.18(d), frolic in the foreground. A badly designed mixed-use structure looms in the background and BID security patrols chase sinners in the upper left.
In March 1999, Aaron Epstein, an owner of assessed property within the borders of the Hollywood Entertainment District BID, managed by the “Property Owners Association,” found that “[t]he POA’s monthly meetings were not open to the public, much to the distress of plaintiff.” Epstein sued for a declaratory judgment stating that the BID was subject to the requirements of California’s open meetings law, known as the Brown Act. Although his motion was denied by the trial court, that decision was overturned on appeal. The appellate court’s opinion is scathingly, corrosively, beautifully, decisive, referring as it does to the BID’s and the City of LA’s legal theories as “subterfuge” designed “to circumvent the requirements of the Brown Act.” It’s well worth reading, and here are a few selections:
Continue reading No One Shall Expel Us from the Paradise Epstein has Created for us