Yesterday the City of LA filed a bunch of material in support of their opposition to the restraining order requested by the plaintiffs in this case about the illegal seizure of the property of homeless people on Skid Row. The City’s filings included a Declaration of Lt. Andy Mathes, which included a number of videos of the plaintiffs and Carol Sobel in support. These videos were not available through PACER, but presumably they’re part of the public record and can be obtained somehow.
I reported a couple weeks ago about the hearing on plaintiffs’ motion to hold the City of LA in contempt for failing to produce discovery documents. The order scheduling the hearing also required the plaintiffs to submit pleadings today outlining the status of the discovery requests and also detailing how much in fees and costs they were asking for. Those documents were filed tonight around 6:30 p.m. and I have them for you here:
Earlier today the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the homeless property case, Shayla Myers and Catherine Sweetser, filed a massive application for contempt and sanctions against defendant City of Los Angeles due to their (alleged but totally plausible) recalcitrance in complying with the discovery process. Just now Deputy City Attorney Ronald Whitaker filed a declaration in opposition to this application. There’s nothing that new here, although it’s interesting to see that the City is sticking to its largely discredited claim that
in order to search emails, they need the email addresses of each individual LAPD officer. With the help of our investigator, we have tried to identify each of the individual police officers, of which there are over 400, assigned to the Central Division within the relevant timeframe. The LAPD’s IT department requires us to manually match up each officer name with their serial number, as that is how officers are identified in their email addresses. That process is and has been ongoing.
Mere moments ago new filings in the LACAN/LACW lawsuit against the City of LA and the Central City East Association hit the RSS feed of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and what a doozy! It seems that, despite their representations to the contrary in front of Federal Magistrate Judge Andrew Wistrich, the City of Los Angeles is not complying with the Court’s discovery orders. I haven’t had time to read any of this stuff yet, but it looks super hot so I wanted to get it up here as quickly as possible. First we have an ex parte application for an order holding the City of Los Angeles in contempt and seeking sanctions against them. The plaintiffs state:
Good cause exists for such a motion because despite two orders from this Court compelling the production of responsive documents, the City has failed to produce these documents or identify a date certain when all responsive documents will be produced. Without further intervention and sanctions against the City, the City will continue to ignore this Court’s order and the City’s discovery obligations. Plaintiffs will experience prejudice if the City continues to be permitted to ignore its obligations and this Court’s orders.
I didn’t see the significance of this at the time, but it was clarified on Wednesday, when the plaintiffs filed an ex parte (that is, without the on-the-record participation of the defendants) application to amend the scheduling order to continue dates by 30 days. This is an unusual procedure and it seems it must be justified by the existence of exigent circumstances. In this case the first of these is that on Monday the 11th, after the discovery hearing, Elizabeth Fitzgerald had a medical emergency and will be on leave at least through the end of January. At the very least this requires the rescheduling of a bunch of depositions, and is probably why Ronald Whitaker joined the case. Note also that the plaintiffs asked for and received the City of LA’s support of the application and that the CCEA did not oppose it.
Anyway, you can find all of the new pleadings here in the subdirectory, dated December 8, 2015. First there is a brief motion to compel discovery from the city of LA, necessary because getting camels through the eyes of needles is easier than getting documents out of the city of Los Angeles. This was foreshadowed by something I missed in the the joint stipulation, discussed in my post the other day:
The City and Plaintiffs have met extensively regarding Defendants’ responses to Plaintiffs’ Requests for Production and will likely require Court intervention to resolve their disagreement