Over the last few days, but for some reason just hitting PACER today, the parties in the LA Catholic Worker and LA Community Action Network v. the Central City East Association and the City of LA filed a joint stipulation to continue the various scheduled dates in the case due to what’s turned out to be an incredibly grueling discovery process in the case. This is not the first time the trial date has been postponed for this reason. Here is the judge’s order granting the continuance until October 4, 2016.
Mitchell v. Los Angeles, the latest in a series of suits filed by homeless people who’ve had their property illegally confiscated by the City (see Gale Holland’s recent article for an excellent summary) took an interesting turn today, when a flurry of filings hit PACER. First of all, the plaintiffs asked the court for a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order enjoining the City from confiscating their property while the case is on. They filed a huge number of declarations and other evidence in support of this application, many although not all of which can be found on our page dedicated to the case. The City asked for extra time to respond and the court granted them some.
Continue reading A Flurry of Filings in Mitchell et al. v. City of LA et al. Suggests that Homeless Advocates May be Trying to have City Enjoined from Enforcing Newly Amended LAMC 56.11
I reported last December that court filings suggested that Lavan case was likely to be close to settlement (see here for a summary of the issues involved). A Report on the Status of the Settlement Process that hit PACER just now gives more detail. In particular, the settlement agreement is scheduled for the Claims Board on April 11 and is likely to come before the full City Council by the end of April. Get the PDF here or read the important part after the break. You read it here first!
Continue reading Lavan Case Settlement Likely to Come Before Full LA City Council by End of April 2016
The federal civil rights lawsuit filed yesterday by four homeless residents of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Catholic Worker, and the LA Community Action Network, was assigned today to District Court Judge S. James Otero (I have the order here). In 2013 Judge Otero decided the big lawsuit against the misuse of VA property in Westwood, thus enraging a bunch of ritzy Brentwood people who think their dogs are more important than not only the lives of veterans but than the property rights of Los Angeles founding mother Arcadia Bandini Stearns de Baker, who donated the property to the VA explicitly for the sake of veterans. Anyway, he did the right thing there, and perhaps he will here too, although the gossip around the MK.org water cooler is leaning towards a motion to switch the case over to Judge Gutierrez, probably based on a “substantial amount of factual overlap” or some such thing. We shall see, I suppose.
Continue reading Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Yesterday Against City of Los Angeles is Assigned to District Court Judge S. James Otero
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.
Continue reading Late Night Declaration Filed by Ronald Whitaker Opposing Plaintiffs’ Application for Contempt and Sanctions in LACAN/LACW v. City, CCEA
The Lavan case is kind of off our beat here since it’s not directly linked to BIDs, but I haven’t found any discussion in the news of pleadings filed with the court in early December, so I thought I’d upload them and note their existence here as a public service. (I don’t want to go into the details of the case, but if you’re not already familiar with them, the Argonaut has a reasonable if westside-whiny outline of the situation). On December 2, 2015, the parties to the case filed a Joint Notice of Tentative Settlement, asking Judge Philip Gutierrez to vacate the trial date due to an impending settlement:
As the Court is aware, the parties participated in a settlement conference before Magistrate Judge Woehrle on November 24, 2015, at which time they reached a tentative settlement of the remaining issues in this action. The settlement requires a four-step approval procedure by the City. That process is anticipated to take at least three months, if not longer, particularly in light of the upcoming holidays resulting in the cancellation of several meeting dates for City officials. If the settlement is approved by the City Council, the third step in the process, it then goes to the Mayor, who has 10 days to act on the proposal. The parties have agreed that, if approved by the City, the settlement will be paid at the beginning of the next fiscal year, which is July 1, 2016.
The next day, December 3, 2015, Judge Gutierrez issued an order granting the parties’ joint request. So we’ll see what happens, eh?
Continue reading Is the Lavan Case Close to a Settlement? Documents Filed in Federal Court Suggest the Answer is Yes and that it May Happen in July 2016
This is a very quick note to announce that attorneys for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles yesterday filed notice that they’ll be making a motion on January 11, 2016 at 10 a.m. in Courtroom 690 in the Roybal Building downtown to compel the City of Los Angeles to hand over a bunch of discovery material. I reported briefly on this subject yesterday, but wasn’t aware for sure at that time that they were actually going to court over the city’s recalcitrance. I’ll be writing much more about this later, but I wanted to drop this on you in a timely manner so you can arrange your calendars.
Continue reading Hearing on Motion to Compel City of Los Angeles to Hand Over Discovery Documents to Plaintiffs LA Catholic Worker and LA Community Action Network Set for January 11, 2016
On Tuesday (December 8) a bunch of new documents related to the discovery process were filed in the ongoing lawsuit filed by Los Angeles Catholic Worker and the Los Angeles Community Action Network against the City of Los Angeles and the Central City East Association, which runs the Downtown Industrial District BID. I don’t have the competence to comment usefully on most of this stuff, but, interestingly, there’s a lot of discussion of how the city of Los Angeles deals with public records. This, I do know something about.
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
It seems that, however, as I recently reported, the CCEA at least is complying with discovery requests. There’s a little bit more detail after the break, including some sample prose laden with negative feelings in a manner not so commonly found in pleadings. I hope to write on a number of specific items later today or quite soon, especially the controversy over production of emails, an area where the city of Los Angeles is infamous for flouting the law.
Continue reading Tempers Flare in Federal Court as Voluminous New Filings in LACW, LACAN v. City of LA, CCEA Case Reveal Inside Story of Lengthy, Painful Discovery Process
NOTE: Clearly I can’t read. This is wrong. The joint proposed motion filed by the parties was DENIED by the court. Trial is still set for April 26, 2016.
According to pleadings filed on November 30, 2015, settlement talks in the lawsuit filed by Los Angeles Catholic Worker and the Los Angeles Community Action Network against the City of Los Angeles and the Central City East Association, which runs the Downtown Industrial District BID, are proceeding well. The parties filed a joint stipulation stating that they
…continue to engage in settlement negotiations and are actively exchanging proposals. The parties believe future talks will continue to be productive and are amenable to participating in further sessions with Judge Woehrle [the magistrate judge in the case]. Because these early settlement conferences indicated a potential for resolution of this case, and because all parties are non-profits and government entities, the parties have attempted to delay incurring significant litigation expenses from discovery and motion practice while the parties have been actively engaged in settlement negotiations.
And there’s more of that kind of thing in the stipulation. Well, as the man said, “if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them.” On December 2, 2015, Judge Gutierrez filed an order pushing the trial date back three months to July 2016 to give the parties time to work everything out.
Continue reading LACW, LACAN Lawsuit Against CCEA, City of LA, NOT Continued Until July Due to Successful-ish Ongoing Settlement Talks. Trial Still Set for April 26, 2016
This is just a quick note to alert you that there has been some action, albeit not that much, in the street vending lawsuit against the Fashion District BID and the city of LA. Some of the new documents, I think the interesting ones, but PACER is so clunky, not to mention expensive, that it’s hard to be sure, can be found here or directly here in static storage. Basically what seems to have happened is that the case was assigned to Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell and the plaintiffs asked to have it moved to the court of Philip Gutierrez. As you’ll know if you’ve been following things, Gutierrez is the judge in the Lavan case and also the LACW and LACAN case against the city of LA and the Central City East Association, which runs the Downtown Industrial District BID. The NLG argues that these two cases are similar enough to the instant case that they ought to be heard by the same judge. This request was denied, and they’ve filed a request for reconsideration. The request for reconsideration hinges on what is, I think, the crucial aspect of this case and the one against CCEA.
Continue reading National Lawyers Guild LA Street Vending Case to Stay with Judge Beverly O’Connell for now, Petition for Transfer to Judge Philip Gutierrez Denied