The last ten days have seen defendant after defendant file motions for summary judgment saying that they themselves didn’t personally do anything to the plaintiffs so the case against them should be dropped. I wonder if this is related to the fact that the case wasn’t certified as a class action? Like maybe the defendants did stuff to other people who just don’t happen to be the plaintiffs?
In any case, yesterday night late Charlie and Frank Ferrara filed their motions and a bunch of supporting paper. It all looks really interesting but I don’t have time to do more than provide links to the documents in the Archive.Org collection of pleadings in the case. They are after the break, and here is a list of all of my posts on these motions for summary judgment so far:
Oh, one little thing more. In this Declaration of Tiffany Bacon in support of Charlie Ferrara’s motion, which has tons of excerpts from depositions, we find this stunning bit of lawyer humor when they’re asking Charlie Ferrara if he heard Jalian Johnston sexually harassing Diana Reed. Samantha Wolff is asking questions, Ms. Hurley is representing Charlie Ferrara:
Q. Do you recall whether or not Mr. Johnston was acting in a sexually suggestive manner at the time?
MS. HURLEY: Objection, calls for speculation, calls for expert opinion testimony, lacks foundation.
Calls for expert opinion testimony indeed, friends!
If there’s an award for rapiest pleading filed in federal court, Blakeman’s motion is gonna be a strong contender. He actually claims that even though Jalian Johnston did spray beer on Diana Reed, she was smiling the whole time so it can’t be assault:
Plaintiffs’ case against moving party Brant Blakeman consist solely of Spencer’s claim that Blakeman surfed too close to him on one occasion at Lunada Bay and Reed’s claim that Blakeman videotaped her at the patio structure at the Bay when defendant Alan Johnston opened a can of beer that sprayed some drops on her arm.
These factual claims fall far short of establishing a violation of the Bane Act by Blakeman, which requires violent acts, physical threats, coercion, or intimidation resulting in fear of injury or harm and, thereby, prevents them from exercising a constitutional right. With respect to the incident in which Blakeman did nothing more than videotape Reed, who, by the way, was photographing Blakeman and others with her own camera and invited a photographer from the LA Times, Reed can be seen throughout the video smiling, smirking, and in no apparent distress. Indeed, she spent over 60 minutes at the bay and made no attempt to leave the patio structure
Today the City of Palos Verdes Estates and its police chief, Jeff Kepley who, along with the Lunada Bay Boys themselves, are defendants in the monumental anti-localism case brought by Cory Spencer and his co-plaintiffs, filed a massive slew of papers with the court. The main item is this motion for summary judgment, asking the judge to obliterate the case against PVE and Kepley.
The rest of the paper filed consists of various exhibits and proposed orders in support of this motion, and is extremely interesting as it contains huge selections from the depositions of Cory Spencer and Diana Reed. There are links to all the new stuff after the break along with brief descriptions. There is presently a hearing on this motion scheduled for August 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m in James Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse.
The merits of the motion are beyond my amateurish capacity to discuss, although they make interesting reading if you’re so inclined. The main argument seems to be that the plaintiffs didn’t really suffer any harm, and the City didn’t have a duty to do anything more than what they did to protect them. Also, the following freakish little argument did catch my eye. My general feeling is that the appearance of “gang-affiliated criminal groups from south Los Angeles” in government-generated discourse is irrefutable evidence that they’re lying. But judge for yourself:
A number of the above-described events (as well as Plaintiff Spencer and Reed’s alleged incidents discussed under the factual background above) took place during a time the City was experiencing a substantial increase in residential burglaries by organized gangs or gang-affiliated criminal group from south Los Angeles. It is typical for the City to have zero to three burglaries per month, but in December 2015 the City experienced 20 to 25 burglaries. In fact, a number of residents complained about the amount of law enforcement resources allocated toward patrolling Lunada Bay, as well as the tough stance Chief Kepley took against local surfers harassing or intimidating other surfers. Nonetheless, the City directed law enforcement resources to ensuring access to Lunada Bay and preventing harassment. Chief Kepley opined that given so few incidents at Lunada Bay and the burglary spree in the City that the Police Department efforts were appropriate and reasonable in scope and size.
Tonight I had the pleasure of receiving from self-proclaimed active member of the revitalized Hollywood community1 Jeffrey Charles Briggs almost 200 emails between the East Hollywood Business Improvement District and various far-too-friendly folks at the City of Los Angeles. For now these are available here on Archive.Org. They’re PDFs, but they’re that super-PDF-format that one can make with genuine Adobe software that embeds attachments right in there with clickable links.2 I have only been able to give these a cursory look-over, but I can already see a few crucial items. I’ll be writing on these matters as soon as I possibly can, but if you want a preview of one of them take a look at this juicy little number.
Oh dear. Hitting PACER just now is Defendant Brant Blakeman’s Request for Judicial Notice in Support of Defendants’ Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification. It seems that plaintiff Diana Reed was sued in LA County Superior Court for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and a few other such torts, arising out of a music promotion business run by Reed and her husband Gabe. Blakeman is arguing that these allegations, along with the fact that Reed didn’t defend the suit, make her unfit to represent the class of people harmed in the Lunada Bay Boys case.
According to the complaint in the fraud suit,1 the Reeds accepted tens of thousands of dollars from the business manager of some band in exchange for the band being allowed to open for an Aerosmith concert in Mexico City and to go on some rock tour that the Reeds were promoting. None of this ever happened, the band didn’t get its money back, they sued, the Reeds didn’t defend the case, and the court entered a default judgment for more than $440,000.
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:
There is no such thing as the Lunada Bay Boys.
But if there is such a thing as the Lunada Bay Boys, none of the defendants are members of it.
But if some or all of the defendants are members of it, they didn’t do any of the stuff alleged in the complaint.
But if they did do some or all of the stuff alleged in the complaint, they didn’t do it to the plaintiffs.
But if they did do it to the plaintiffs, there wasn’t really any cognizable damage.
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 (?!)