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.
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.
Also, you may recall that in March the plaintiffs asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for permission to file a motion asking them to overturn Judge Otero’s decision to deny certification as a class action. I didn’t hear about it at the time, but one of the exhibits filed today is the Ninth Circuit’s denial of the request for permission to appeal. Anyway, turn the page for links to and brief descriptions of all the new paper filed today.
- City of PVE and Jeff Kepley’s motion for summary judgment — The main item.
- Proposed judgment — What they’re asking for in the motion, which is that the case be dismissed against the City and Jeff Kepley and that they be awarded their costs.
- Proposed statement of uncontroverted facts and points of law — This is worth reading. It’s a summary of statements that the defendants have taken from the plaintiffs’ depositions and which, they are claiming in their motion, if taken as true, require that the case against them be dismissed. It’s a nice summary of important points from the super-lengthy depositions themselves.
- Declaration of Vickie Kroneberger — City Clerk of PVE, certifying that it is actually against the law in PVE to be a localist surf thug.
- Declaration of Christopher Glos — One of the defendants’ lawyers certifying that the following exhibits are what they purport to be.
- Deposition of plaintiff Diana Reed part I — Icky stories about Jalian Johnston and his cronies.
- Deposition of plaintiff Diana Reed part II — More of the same and what the cops would and would not do about it.
- Deposition of plaintiff Cory Spencer — “Why don’t you fucking go home, you fucking kook”; and I mentioned already, “How many other good places did you pass to come here?”
- Deposition of plaintiff Christopher Taloa — Highly selected.
- Deposition of defendant Jeff Kepley — Reveals, among many other interesting things, that the City of PVE considered charging reporters from The Guardian with a crime for recording the infamous clandestine Lunada Bay Boys tape.
- Deposition of Anton Dalerbruch — PVE city manager. Establishes the fact that the City of PVE has an anti-localism statement on its web site.
- Ninth Circuit denies plaintiffs’ request — for permission to appeal to court to reverse Judge Otero’s denial of class certification.
- Mark Slatten’s deposition — Guy from the Coastal Protection Rangers, some interesting history. E.g. in the 1980’s, disproportionately white and affluent communities persuaded the Southern California Rapid Transit District (RTD) to end direct bus service between South Central and beach-front communities to the west, increasing the amount of time it took to reach the beach and effectively deterring people of color from going to the beach at all because of the amount of time and hassle it took to get there, and that RTD granted the request of Palos Verdes Peninsula cities that buses from the inner city not climb the Palos Verdes Hill.
Don’t forget: August 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m in James Otero’s courtroom 10C in the First Street Federal Courthouse. Maybe I’ll see you there!
The image is a mashup of this image of the Watts Riots, and this image of Palos Verdes and this image of Jeff Kepley, and the resulting collage is ©2017 MichaelKohlhaas.Org.