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.
Finally, the fact that LAPD generates email addresses in such a way that extensive manual labor is required just to frame a search across email spools, if this is even true, must have been a conscious decision on someone’s part. It would have been perfectly easy for them to create human-readable email addresses that work in tandem with their current system, and it would be perfectly easy for them to do now. The LAPD has a zillion of these excuses that they pull out in the face of Public Records Act requests as well as discovery requests. The fact that they all seem to make disclosure more difficult is unlikely to be a coincidence. It’s all too convenient, it’s probably in violation of the CPRA, and I sincerely hope that Judge Gutierrez, someone, anyone, makes these people pay penance for their sins.
- Not to mention its agents, the Business Improvement Districts, who don’t seem to have the first idea how to use their computers. I’ve had them tell me over and over again that they can’t do this kind of search, or a search would be “overly burdensome” as it would have to be done manually, when it’s obvious to me and to everyone that it can be done automatically in mere minutes. I’ve been able to demonstrate this over and over again. See here for the most recent example.