And tonight the City of PVE and Jeff Kepley filed their opposition to that motion. The most important item is this memorandum of points and authorities which has, as these all seem to, a good discussion of the facts of the dispute.
The main issue seems to be, though, that the plaintiffs’ asked for material from the personal phones of PVE cops and the cop union intervened and said via their lawyer, Howard A. Liberman, that they weren’t going to hand it over because it would violate the officers’ privacy and also it would violate their contract with the City of PVE. The City also argues that they can’t hand it over since they don’t have control over it.
Last Thursday the Honorable Rozella Oliver, magistrate judge in the Lunada Bay Boys zillionaire surf thuggery case, ordered various defendants to quit taking the piss and get cracking with their discovery obligations. In particular, the order filed stated with respect to defendant Sang Lee that:
The parties are also directed to file any meet and confer letters regarding the dispute and the privilege log served by Defendant Lee at least 24 hours before the next telephonic hearing.
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.
At that time Judge Oliver ordered the parties to brief her thoroughly on the matter. Well, it seems that the City decided to just hand over the report rather than fight about it any more. Hence they all filed a joint stipulation asking the judge not to make them write the briefs any more. You’ll find a transcription of the stipulation after the break. It’s not by any means clear that we’ll be able to get our hands on the report itself, although often discovery material turns up in the exhibits to later motions, so maybe we will.
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.
A little more than two weeks ago, federal district court judge James Otero denied class certification in the Lunada Bay Boys case, turning it into a merely personal dispute between a bunch of thuggish zillionaire surf-localist gangbangers and the few surfers brave enough to put their names on the case. Today, the plaintiffs filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asking for permission to appeal Otero’s decision immediately, rather than, I guess, waiting until the whole case is done, which is probably the more normal time to appeal. This is a so-called interlocutory appeal, in other words, which is made before the case which gives rise to it is settled. Obviously it would cause chaos if lawyers were allowed to appeal every random decision a lower court judge made while the actual case was proceeding, which is probably why it’s necessary to (a) ask the Ninth Circuit for permission to appeal and (b) to argue that the case will suffer “irreparable harm” if the appeal of the given order, in this case denial of class certification, isn’t allowed to proceed while the underlying case is ongoing. The basic argument seems to be this:
Californians have a constitutional right to access their public beaches. Accordingly, Petitioners ask this Court for the opportunity to appeal now, so that their motion for class certification can be given proper consideration under the correct interpretation of rule 23. As this Court has recognized, there is no reason for a plaintiff to litigate to finality “when a certification decision is erroneous and inevitably will be overturned.”
Perhaps you recall that yesterday’s scheduled hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion to have their lawsuit against the putative Lunada Bay Boys certified as a class action was cancelled by the Judge on the grounds that he would be able to rule without hearing oral arguments. Well, this morning his order denying class certification hit PACER. I can tell you right now that his reasoning with respect to the conclusion that this case cannot proceed as a class action is completely beyond my ability to interpret sensibly, so you’ll have to figure that part of it out yourself.
The introduction to the order strikes me as pretty skeptical of the plaintiffs’ claims generally, and even a little sarcastic. For instance, in what must be for the plaintiffs a particularly disconcerting example of judicial humor, Otero begins his summary of the facts with the following pun: “Riding the wave of the Point Break remake, Plaintiffs initiated this putative class action lawsuit…” It can’t be pleasant to read insinuations from the judge that one’s lawsuit was essentially a movie tie-in! There are excerpts after the break.
Oh boy! No doubt you recall that in January, the plaintiffs filed a declaration of Philip King in which King, a professor of economics at San Francisco State who studies coastal recreational economics. King made a preliminary calculation of the economic damage caused by the aggressively psychopathic surf localism of the Lunada Bay Boys at around $50,000,000 since 1970.