Tag Archives: Federal District Court

2016 Lawsuit Filed By LAPD Critic Patti Beers Against The City Of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, And Assorted Other Cops, Has Settled In Its Entirety — However, The Terms Of The Settlement Are Not Yet Known

This is just the quickest of notes to announce that mere moments ago radical videographer Patti Beers, who sued the City and a bunch of cops in 2016 over their abuse of her during the 2014 protests about Michael Brown and Ferguson, MO, announced that she’d settled all her claims and the City’s going to pay her an as-yet-undisclosed amount of money, some of which will no doubt go to her attorney, the renowned and heroic Morgan Ricketts.

You can read some details in my earlier post on the suit and you can read the notice of settlement, just filed on PACER about ten minutes ago, right here. Note that this settlement leaves the ongoing associated class action suit known as Chua v. City of LA untouched as far as I can see. That one’s scheduled for trial in November 2018. This one’s over. Also, turn the page for a transcription of the notice of settlement.
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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

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Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver Orders Further Briefing From Parties On Question Of Whether Lunada Bay Boys Case Plaintiffs Can Get Their Hands On Investigative Report About PVE Police Leak Of Undercover Anti-Bay-Boys Sting Op

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 might recall that in early 2016 the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department organized a sting operation to catch zillionaire surf thugs the Lunada Bay Boys in the midst of their zillionaire surf thuggery but someone tipped off the Bay Boys, no doubt because they’re not just all sleeping with each others’ spouses up there on The Hill, they also all grew up together like a bunch of hillbillies in a holler and they operate on a need-to-know basis but they have their own ideas of who needs to know what.

In any case, PVE Chief of Police Jeff Kepley hired an outside investigator to find out what had gone wrong, and the plaintiffs in the case want a copy of the report via discovery. The City of PVE and Jeff Kepley are claiming that the report is privileged under the Work Product Doctrine. So they all had a phone conversation with Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver, and the Judge filed these minutes of the discussion and ordered everyone to submit further briefing by July 6. And if you hate PDFs, turn the page for a transcription of the whole order.
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Street Photographer Shawn Nee Completely Settles Case Against LAPD, City Of Los Angeles, For Interfering With His Right To Photograph Police, Terms Apparently Not Yet Released

Perhaps you recall that Los Angeles based street photographer Shawn Nee filed suit against the City and the LAPD for preventing him from freely photographing the police. Well, it turns out that, last week, the case was completely settled. The terms of the settlement do not yet seem to be public, but two documents did show up on PACER confirming the settlement. Turn the page for links and descriptions.
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LAPD Critic Patti Beers Filed A Federal Suit Against City Of LA In November 2016 Also Arising Out Of LAPD Misconduct During 2014 Michael Brown Protests

You may recall that all-round heroine Jasmyne Cannick filed suit in federal court last December alleging that the LAPD and the City of LA had selectively prosecuted her for charges arising from 2014 protests about the Michael Brown situation in revenge for her outspoken criticism of the department. Well, it just recently came to my attention that Patti Beers, another well-known critic of the LAPD, who was also arrested and prosecuted1 under the same general circumstances, filed a suit against the City and various LAPD officials, at roughly the same time, in November 2016.

The suit alleges, among other things, that the LAPD has a policy of targeting critics and using selective arrests to punish them for their political activity. Even more interestingly, I think, is the allegation that the City Attorney, who is responsible for prosecuting misdemeanors committed in the City of LA, unduly defers to the LAPD’s wishes when deciding who to prosecute and when to exercise prosecutorial discretion in pursuing charges. These matters are interesting enough that I’m going to collect the paperwork in this case and occasionally report on developments. Here is the second amended complaint. You can also get to the documents via static storage, which you can also get to kind of from the menu structure. Read on for some excerpts if you don’t like PDFs.
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Amha V. City Of Los Angeles Lawsuit Stemming From LAPD Abuse During 2014 Michael Brown Protests Dismissed This Morning Due To Settlement, Although Terms Don’t Yet Seem To Be Public

You may recall that in January 2016, Semhar Girmay Amha filed a suit in federal court against the City of Los Angeles for their illegal detention and surreally flagrant verbal abuse of her after the 2014 Michael Brown protests downtown. Here is my original article on the subject and all the interesting paper filed in the case is also available.

Well, yesterday the parties, that is, Amha and also the City of Los Angeles, filed a joint stipulation to dismiss because they have reached a settlement. Today the judge filed an order dismissing the case on the basis of the stipulation. The stipulation is completely lacking in detail, and it’s not clear if the terms of the settlement will be made public, but anyway, that’s the news. You can read the stipulation and the order after the break if you don’t like PDFs.
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City Of Palos Verdes Estates Tells Federal Court That One Of The Plaintiffs’ Experts Ain’t Expert Enough, Other Documents Filed Including Many Responses To Interrogatories

A really pretty archetypally Californian road in the really pretty archetypally Californian City of Palos Verdes Estates, which is a really pretty archetypally Californian example of the kind of hell on earth that gets created around here when zillionaires are allowed to own entire cities and operate them according to customary zillionaire practices.
This is just a short note to memorialize the fact that a bunch of paperwork was filed in the case of Cory Spencer v. Lunada Bay Boys. I have added the new material to the Archive.Org page (look for docket numbers 204 through 207). There are links to and brief descriptions of the new material after the break. Don’t forget to look at the plaintiffs’ responses to the defendants’ interrogatories, which aren’t always available to the public via PACER. In this case they were put on the record as part of a lawyer’s declaration. And also don’t forget that there’s an upcoming hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion to certify the case as a class action, scheduled for Tuesday, February 21 at 10 a.m. in Judge Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Courthouse downtown.
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Lunada Bay Boys Tell Federal Court “We Don’t Even Exist So How Can They Sue Us??!” — Defendants’ Oppositions To Motion For Class Certification Filed In Palos Verdes Estates Surf Localism Thuggery Case

Looming reality in the form of the 1st Street Federal Courthouse as seen from the shores of Lunada Bay. Is it getting closer? Is it just an illusion? We will find out on February 21, 2017 at 10 a.m.!
See here for yesterday’s post on this matter and if you need background take a look at this excellent article from the Times on the suit.

Well, just one day after I decided to add Cory Spencer v. Lunada Bay Boys to my PACER watchlist, an avalanche of opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion to have the thing turned into a class action suit hit the RSS feed. It’s all pretty interesting, and I have uploaded it all to the Archive.Org page that I made yesterday to host all this stuff on. There is a list of new items with links after the break, but the common theme of many of them, as exemplified in the Objection to Plaintiffs’ Evidence in Support of Motion for Class Certification, a 112 page behemoth with which most if not all of the individual defendants seem to have joined in, seems to go something like this:

  1. There is no such thing as the Lunada Bay Boys.
  2. But if there is such a thing as the Lunada Bay Boys, none of the defendants are members of it.
  3. But if some or all of the defendants are members of it, they didn’t do any of the stuff alleged in the complaint.
  4. But if they did do some or all of the stuff alleged in the complaint, they didn’t do it to the plaintiffs.
  5. But if they did do it to the plaintiffs, there wasn’t really any cognizable damage.
  6. But if there was cognizable damage, it’s not really possible to figure out who was damaged.

The City of Palos Verdes Estates (PVE) along with their Chief of Police take a slightly different tack in e.g. their opposition to the motion for class certification. Their theory seems to be that since one plaintiff said something nice about the PVE cops in 2016, they must be innocent all the way back to 1966. Perhaps that even makes sense (?!)

In any case, the hearing on this is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in the brand new shiny beautiful 1st Street Courthouse in Courtroom 10C. Perhaps I’ll see you there. As mentioned above, turn the page for a list of links to newly filed items.1
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Everybody’s Favorite Puppet-Wielding Crackpot Wayne Spindler Files Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Alleging Violations Of Constitutional Rights — Here Are Copies Of The Pleadings

Wayne Spindler in normal clothes in 2010.
Habitual City Council commenter Wayne Spindler, he of the don’t-go-near-Herb-Wesson restraining order and the subsequent entirely righteous we’re-not-gonna-prosecute-because-being-an-asshole-isn’t-illegal decision by L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey’s office,1 has filed a federal suit against the City of Los Angeles for violating various Constitutional rights in connection with his May 2016 arrest.

The incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes has the story in this morning’s Times and we have the primary sources, hot off of PACER! As long as I was getting these pleadings, I figured I’d go ahead and get the ones from the case he filed last July as well,2 and all of them are available here:

I’ll collect the papers in those directories as they’re filed because the cases interest me, but I probably won’t be writing more about them unless something extraordinary occurs. Spindler is an attorney3 and seems to be acting pro se in both these cases. As always, this makes for some fairly lively legal writing, samples of which you can find after the break if you, like so many these days, are PDF-averse.4
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Declarations In Federal Lawsuit Over Lunada Bay Surf Localism Reveal Shocking Details Of Decades-Long Reign Of Terror By Multiple Generations Of Zillionaire Palos Verdes Thugs — Exclusive Free eBook Available Now

A rich white Palos Verdes surf gang thug attacks a visitor to the public beach at Lunada Bay.
The story of the violent zillionaire surf-localism gang known as the Lunada Bay Boys and the ongoing federal lawsuit against them is well-explained in this L.A. Times article. Essentially generations of rich white surfer boys in Palos Verdes estates have for decades violently intimidated any outsiders who wanted to visit the public beach at Lunada Bay and they’re finally being called to account in federal court.1 So I finally had time to investigate the matter on PACER, and collected a ton of pleadings and orders on Archive.Org. Note that most of the early documents, including the initial complaint, are presently sealed because one of the defendants, now known as N.F., is a minor but was named in the early pleadings.

Of particular interest are twenty declarations made by various victims of the Lunada Bay Boys over the years, collected by the plaintiffs in support of their motion to certify the suit as a class action, which document endless sordid details of the astonishing violence and idiocy of the Lunada Bay Boys over multiple generations and many decades, as well as the complicity of the police and city government of Palos Verdes Estates. This material is so interesting that I made these twenty documents into a single eBook, with a table of contents and pagination and so on, to make them easier to read on a tablet or whatever. You can download a copy of that here from the Archive. Here are a couple examples of what’s in there, and there are plenty more after the break.

From the Declaration of John Macharg:

I was surfing Lunada Bay the morning of Jan. 29, 2016. The waves were big and my surfboard leash broke. My surfboard drifted to shore by the rocks near the patio. When I reached my board, David Melo walked down the patio stairs and immediately started harassing me by making statements like “You only come around here when the waves are good.” I responded by telling David that he had no right to question how or when I surf the Bay and that localism in general was wrong headed, unfair and illegal. At that point, Sang Lee butted in and began to argue with me. I told Sang that Lunada Bay was public property and did not belong to him. Sang poured out a portion of the beer that he was holding onto my head. I asked Sang if he was trying to start a fight and said “There is a cop right here.” Sang replied “It’s just beer.” There were several officers on the patio deck and one was observing from just a few feet to my right while I argued with Sang and David.

From the Declaration of John Carpenter (31 years on the Riverside PD):

During our walk down to the beach at Lunada Bay
[in 1983 or 1984], we did not encounter many people. However, once we paddled out, we experienced Lunada Bay’s localized culture firsthand. There were about 6 surfers in the water, all of whom were male. Almost immediately after we paddled out, the other surfers started yelling at us, saying “you guys don’t belong here” and “get out of here.” They also called us names and cursed at us. These surfers also aggressively violated surf etiquette – they would drop in on my waves and cut me off. This behavior was dangerous because it required me to pull off a wave, which could have resulted in the waves pummeling me or could have caused me to crash into the nearby shallow rock reef. The experience was frustrating and dangerous because I risked getting injured by a Bay Boy each time I tried to surf a wave.

After about 45 minutes of suffering from the Lunada Bay Boys’ harassment, Sue and I felt too uncomfortable so we decided to leave. When we got back to the car, we discovered that Sue’s car antenna had been mangled and that someone had vandalized the car by smearing surf wax on it. They wrote derogatory words about Sue being a woman. Based on my friends’ experiences and my 45 minutes of trying to surf at Lunada Bay, I was almost positive that the Lunada Bay Boys were responsible for this vandalism.

Due to this negative experience, I have not returned to surf Lunada Bay. When I recently heard that the intimidation and exclusionary behavior at Lunada Bay is still occurring – more than 30 years after I experienced it firsthand – I was shocked. As a law enforcement professional, I know that the conduct taking place at Lunada Bay is no different than criminal gang activity. Like a criminal gang, the Lunada Bay Boys have taken over a public place and use intimidation tactics to scare others to stay off their turf.

In response to this conduct, the City of Palos Verdes Estates’ police should have taken action to address the issues and treat the situation like a gang injunction. For example, they should have set up cameras, conducted surveillance, and prosecuted wrongdoers based on the complaints they received. Instead, the City and the police ignore the complaints or take down reports of aggression but then fail to follow up and investigate and prosecute the wrongdoers.

Continue reading Declarations In Federal Lawsuit Over Lunada Bay Surf Localism Reveal Shocking Details Of Decades-Long Reign Of Terror By Multiple Generations Of Zillionaire Palos Verdes Thugs — Exclusive Free eBook Available Now

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