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View Full Version : An avenue of attack in Los Angeles County (city that contracts with Baca)


1JimMarch
05-24-2009, 4:16 PM
Folks,

I've been very tentatively offered a job in LA County. Interview process begins next week and could run a month or more, so this isn't anything definite.

But I have done some preliminary digging.

The job is in one of the smaller towns that hires the sheriff for contract police services, population less than 100,000. I'd rather not say just yet.

My "good cause" would be moderately decent, *maybe* something Sheriff Carona's people might have accepted if the right one had got ahold of the app.

For purposes of this discussion, let's assume we keep incorporation via Nordyke, either because the en banc vote fails or we win it. I realize that would have an effect.

If I were to sue over CCW, I'd be suing the city government along with Baca. After all, in hiring him they have some control over his actions - and YOU BET I'll be going over that contract with a fine-tooth comb looking for any clause which bars the sheriff's office from committing civil rights violations. I'm betting there will be something along those lines...possibly some sort of indemnification?

The kicker is, if the city council is formally notified ahead of time that there are civil rights violations going on (CCW discrimination/corruption) *before* I apply, and then after I apply the city does nothing, no amount of indemnification could possibly help them. In other words, if they know Baca is unconstitutionally screwing over one of their city residents, they get warning it's happening and then do nothing once it happens, any Federal lawsuit under 42USC1983 is going to have their names all over it.

Now. Given that this is a relatively small town (by LA County standards anyhow) they *might* not like the idea of getting wrapped up in such a lawsuit. So, it *might* be possible to get a letter out of their city attorney saying "don't screw over our people" or words to that effect.

Which would then take them out of a lawsuit (as far as I'm concerned) and make Baca's chance of a successful defense far lower than it might otherwise be.

Timeline might go something like this:

1) Get data on Baca's issuance now, either from Team Billy Jack or Chuck Michel or whoever else has some data, or go for a fresh records request.

2) Explain to city that I'm about to apply, lay out the legal groundwork in the post-Heller/Nordyke era, explain how Baca is screwing it up. Cite any applicable portions of the sheriff/city contract. Explain that I'll wait a week on application, in the hope that the city will write a letter to Baca ordering him not to screw over city residents. Explain that if I get such a critter, the city will not be dragged into any litigation.

3) Apply, likely get denied.

4) File notices of civil complaint (pre-lawsuit stuff) against Baca, county, and against the city if they didn't help out before the fact.

5) IF the city still hasn't chimed in with support in some fashion, sue everybody involved, otherwise if the city finally figures out they can stay out of costly litigation, sue Baca/county only with support from the city.

If it's not clear yet: I'm not going to go past step #1 until I know where incorporation stands.

Thoughts?

hoffmang
05-24-2009, 5:44 PM
Jim,

The court there isn't favorable. Sykes is going to lay the ground work so that post Sykes it will not matter whether the court is favorable and there is no way that a challenge out of LA would move any faster than Sykes.

-Gene

1JimMarch
05-24-2009, 8:12 PM
Gene,

Let's say you're right (and you probably are). It goes doubly true if I try a "discovery based" suit trying to collect and prove detailed misconduct (equal protection violations) and if possible, outright corruption. Call this "Gorski style" if you like.

Thing is, being filed, say, two to three months from now (minimum!), it can't possibly screw up the Gura/Kilmer case, right?

So that limits the downside.

Upsides:

* I can go for summary judgment the moment the Gura/Kilmer case gets past a 3-judge panel favorably.

* I can collect neat data not seen in detail yet out of Sheriff Baca.

* I might even be able to get a demand letter from a town attorney asking Baca not to be "arbitrary or capricious" where CCW is concerned. This would loosely match the latest document to that effect out of the OC Board of Supes.

* By picking my residence carefully, I can end up in either Rod Wright's district, or Pete Knight, try and rope one of them into the fight.

Upshot: looks to me like I can keep the kettle closer to full boil with little downside, and have a vehicle with which to take advantage of advances by Gura&Kilmer.

Where's the harm?

Mike Dicta
05-24-2009, 8:18 PM
As one of the people doing work with OCCCWS, we haven't confined our efforts to OC and Sheriff Hutchens. We have EXTENSIVE information on Baca, have established a nexus between donations and CCWs, and identified 'preferred classes' in issuance.

In other words, it's a rat's nest of favoritism as expected.

Plus some other clearly illegal issuances -- to individuals out of county, as one example.

But, as Gene says, LA isn't the place for this fight.

hoffmang
05-24-2009, 8:27 PM
There are really only two main reasons to lay off in LA. It is certainly worth digging up the dirt.

1. Filing there is a waste of effort. Sykes is going to be dispositive one way or the other.

2. The best you're likely to do is get a district or state court opinion that conflicts with a win in Sykes. It probably wont matter, but why complicate things? For a feeling for how that looks read up on City of West Hollywood v. CRPA.

-Gene

1JimMarch
05-25-2009, 12:39 AM
Mike: is Baca withholding "good cause" data via the "section 7" fraud? IF he is, then a lawsuit might be the best way to pry it loose. And if the choice is a public records suit versus a lawsuit on CCW itself, well, they're really just about equivelent in overall "pain-in-the-buttness".

And I still see advantages in not only digging, but also trying to get the support of a small town which contracts with Baca for police services. And if you think that unlikely, remember that the city of Morton Grove IL gave up their strict handgun possession law shortly after Heller just to avoid litigation. Approaching a town of 50,000 or less with the message of "I want to keep you OUT of a lawsuit" might get a fair listen in this budget crunch time period.

For that matter, if Nordyke survives en banc, even the LA County Board of Supes might listen on that basis.

high_lander
05-25-2009, 12:49 AM
Does this mean if the fight is won up north, that LA County would be forced to issue? I live in a contract city with our own PD. I would love for ol' Lee to eat it, but I have a feeling he wouldn't abide by court decisions until he was sued by someone. This guy is power drunk.



As one of the people doing work with OCCCWS, we haven't confined our efforts to OC and Sheriff Hutchens. We have EXTENSIVE information on Baca, have established a nexus between donations and CCWs, and identified 'preferred classes' in issuance.

In other words, it's a rat's nest of favoritism as expected.

Plus some other clearly illegal issuances -- to individuals out of county, as one example.

But, as Gene says, LA isn't the place for this fight.

hoffmang
05-25-2009, 10:20 AM
Does this mean if the fight is won up north, that LA County would be forced to issue? I live in a contract city with our own PD. I would love for ol' Lee to eat it, but I have a feeling he wouldn't abide by court decisions until he was sued by someone. This guy is power drunk.

Yes. The point behind Sykes is application throughout California (and throughout the 9th Circuit (map here (http://www.uscourts.gov/courtlinks/).))

-Gene

DDT
05-25-2009, 10:26 AM
There is no point in suing for civil rights violation wrt to CCW issuance because CCW access isn't a civil right yet. Sykes is designed to lay the ground work for this. Until then state law give Baca absolute discretion, he can have different "good cause" requirements for his friends and cronies than he does for regular old constituents and then an even more stringent standard for known activists.

It's not right but it is the law. We have to have the law invalidated before we go after those administering them.

nicki
05-25-2009, 10:38 AM
For purposes of this discussion, let's assume we keep incorporation via Nordyke, either because the en banc vote fails or we win it. I realize that would have an effect.

If I were to sue over CCW, I'd be suing the city government along with Baca. After all, in hiring him they have some control over his actions - and YOU BET I'll be going over that contract with a fine-tooth comb looking for any clause which bars the sheriff's office from committing civil rights violations. I'm betting there will be something along those lines...possibly some sort of indemnification?

The kicker is, if the city council is formally notified ahead of time that there are civil rights violations going on (CCW discrimination/corruption) *before* I apply, and then after I apply the city does nothing, no amount of indemnification could possibly help them. In other words, if they know Baca is unconstitutionally screwing over one of their city residents, they get warning it's happening and then do nothing once it happens, any Federal lawsuit under 42USC1983 is going to have their names all over it.

Now. Given that this is a relatively small town (by LA County standards anyhow) they *might* not like the idea of getting wrapped up in such a lawsuit. So, it *might* be possible to get a letter out of their city attorney saying "don't screw over our people" or words to that effect.

Which would then take them out of a lawsuit (as far as I'm concerned) and make Baca's chance of a successful defense far lower than it might otherwise be.



Jim, I agree with Gene that you should wait until the dust has cleared from the Sykes and Nordyke cases.

That being said, why limit yourself to only "ONE CITY" that the sheriff contracts with.

Why not contact "EVERY CITY" that the sheriff contracts with. Of course you can let them know that while you are not a reside of their city, you will have co-plantiffs who will be joining you.

To add insult to injury, contact the local Howard Jarvis or other taxpayer groups so that they know about potential expenditure of funds.

Why you are at it, many of the cities are unionized, perhaps they share the same union. Considering the budget crunch, I'm sure the unions will be very happy with the cities potentially spending lots of money on legal bills.

In short, really put the heat on the city attorney.

Why go after Baca with cutting of support from one city when you can do it with multiple cities.

Perhaps this is something we can develop into a blueprint to use for ALL COUNTIES here in California.

Jim, remember a few years ago it was brought up that if the heat was turned up that cities may go "G" to throw the sheriffs to the wolves.

The concern was that bad cities would go "G" to avoid lawsuits, but now what you are proposing could cut them off that.

There are two issues, cities that have a police department, cities that don't.

If a city has a police department and they go "G" and have knowledge that the sheriff violates rights of CCW applicants, what kind of position does that put them in?

If a city contracts with the sheriff, and doesn't have a police department, is it possible for incorporated cities to in fact issue CCW permits without having a police department?

Florida's CCW permits are processed by the department of agriculture for instance.

One thing to bear in mind, our game plan has drastically changed, we are now on offense rather than just defense.

This is new territory for many people, as such, it means we are taking the battle to the enemy rather than just reacting to what they are throwing at us.

We need to be smart, but not over cautious. California will be won, one bite at a time. Of course we can be like a wolf pack or a school of piranhas.

Either way the other side will be hurting:43:

Nicki

1JimMarch
05-25-2009, 12:06 PM
Nicki,

I agree in principle, but the reality is you can only SUE the city you live in. So if you don't live in a given town, you don't have that level of clout.

But contacting them, warning them that the world has changed post-Nordyke, getting others such as the unions involved, yeah, it's worth trying.

Quoting DDT:

There is no point in suing for civil rights violation wrt to CCW issuance because CCW access isn't a civil right yet.

Assuming Nordyke either holds as is or gets strengthened, that's just not true.

READ Heller. Read the "footnote 9" cases that ALL say "CCW can be limited so long as loaded open carry is legal". We have a right to carry, period, end of discussion. It has to be *loaded* carry. And since that's banned here, we have a right to a CCW permit.

The Gura/Kilmer suit is just one way of forcing the various sheriffs and chiefs to believe in that new reality (again, assuming Nordyke holds). But it's NOT the only way to do so.

Regardless of whether they believe it right away, we HAVE that right and it's enforcable so long as Nordyke holds, applying the whole Heller case to California (and Hawaii, and Guam...).

Gray Peterson
05-25-2009, 12:14 PM
Jim,

Not every city in LA county will refuse to issue. I still think you have a better chance with a city than a county, or hell, moving to San Berdandino County and commuting.

Also, going after the city will not work. The Sheriff and the contract cities usually sign a contract indemnifying them from all actions by the Sheriff. Even if the city is held liable by a court and gets hit with damages, the sheriff is required, since it's his actions that caused the damages, to soak that up, and he will.

We will get a win out of Sykes assuming that Mehl doesn't foreclose it.

hoffmang
05-25-2009, 1:17 PM
The Gura/Kilmer suit is just one way of forcing the various sheriffs and chiefs to believe in that new reality (again, assuming Nordyke holds). But it's NOT the only way to do so.

However it is the way that is most likely to prevail for a whole host of reasons - not all of which are debatable in public.

When forcing the state to behave one wants to use the very best argument possible. It's why the civil rights movement didn't start by attacking miscegenation laws first. Loving doesn't come until 1967.

-Gene

Gray Peterson
05-25-2009, 1:33 PM
Jim, I have to ask this:

Do you care more about your pet legal theories than the movement at large?

I know that you put many years and untold effort into crafting a particular lawsuit involving racial or even just general equal protection issues. You wanted to free California for over a decade from the bad CCW laws. You've sacrificed much.

However, you are not Alan Gura. You are not Gary Gorski, however you're defending his methods because it somewhat parallels your work. You are not Don Kilmer, either.

Screw prepping for a suit, Jim. Instead of prepping for a fight, get around the situation. Let's find you a city or county that WILL issue you a permit.

1JimMarch
05-25-2009, 3:14 PM
Do you care more about your pet legal theories than the movement at large?

That's ridiculous.

The texts of Heller and Nordyke aren't "pet legal theories", nor do I put myself over the movement. Look again: I'm talking about designing it as a post-Sykes case - a vehicle with which to do discovery plus rapidly take advantage of a Gura/Kilmer win.

CCWFacts
05-25-2009, 3:26 PM
But post-Sykes, we'll have one of two outcomes:


No need to sue for a CCW, or else a suit would be very simple and fast
Or, Sykes completely fails and LA will remain no-issue (for ordinary people) for the foreseeable future


In neither one of those outcomes does it make sense to start preparing a suit now. It won't be necessary either way.

nicki
05-25-2009, 3:28 PM
First, I don't think Jim will file any lawsuit without a vetting process first.

Last time around he was a trailblazer, this time he isn't alone and Jim recognizes that this has to be treated like a baseball game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc9zF8G2Pvc&feature=PlayList&p=0C39576C294FF0A9&index=0&playnext=1

Jim, I made a comment about the other cities not to have you sue them, but to make them see the light that someone like you may exist in their cities.

It is possible that you could have co plantiffs in each city before you take action.

Bringing things to the attention of city councils and their city attorney may yield some benefits.

If their city attornies come back to the city's and say, don't worry, we are safe because Jim isn't a resident, that is not going to go over very well.

City councilmember's are part of the human species guys and they don't like a city attorney giving them smoke legalistic answers.

The issue won't be gun rights, it will be being financially irresponsible during a time of a severe budget crisis.

I think you would be stronger if you went in with multiple cities versus just one city.

If enough cities are bailing on Baca, LA county itself may bail on Baca.

Nicki

Gray Peterson
05-25-2009, 7:44 PM
That's ridiculous.

The texts of Heller and Nordyke aren't "pet legal theories", nor do I put myself over the movement. Look again: I'm talking about designing it as a post-Sykes case - a vehicle with which to do discovery plus rapidly take advantage of a Gura/Kilmer win.

Why would you even need to do discovery post-Sykes??

Gp100
05-25-2009, 9:25 PM
I think we need to start a recall on the 9th circuit court judges,that vote anti 2nd amendment. Can we do that?

hoffmang
05-25-2009, 9:41 PM
I think we need to start a recall on the 9th circuit court judges,that vote anti 2nd amendment. Can we do that?

The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
Being anti-gun sadly doesn't come up to the level of bad "Behaviour" in the Constitutional sense.

-Gene

yellowfin
05-25-2009, 10:09 PM
Jim, how about digging up things from the other end instead, doing some research on CCW denials who have been subsequently been beaten, killed, or raped because Baca threw them to the wolves? That's a PR fight I think we need to start fighting, ala Susanna Hupp.

1JimMarch
05-26-2009, 2:52 AM
That's actually not a bad idea.

The other thing though is that there's two things that will happen post-Sykes that most people aren't thinking about:

1) It will STILL take lawsuits to get permits in some areas, possibly for years. It will simply take a while for the worst of these clowns to get the message.

2) In a post-Sykes world, deliberate failure to issue will start to rack up cash damages for willful civil rights violations. And discovery could very well make it all the more obviously willful PLUS provide ghastly PR for the grabbers.

So even post-Sykes, having solid discovery lined up ahead of time might be nice.

CnCFunFactory
05-26-2009, 3:55 AM
I hope for your sake the town you are referring to is not La Canada....

1JimMarch
05-26-2009, 9:58 AM
It wasn't, but, now you have my curiosity up...

ilbob
05-26-2009, 11:02 AM
It might be helpful to do public record requests that are pointed in certain directions as a diversion.

1JimMarch
05-26-2009, 11:27 AM
Hmmm. Yeah.

One more point: a day or two ago in the NYTimes, there was a report of a school in the south that held the graduation prom for whites on a Friday night, for Blacks on Saturday night.

Brown v. Board of education was 1954.

In other words, there's going to be "pockets of resistance" LONG after a 3-judge win in Sykes.

I would estimate Sheriff Baca will be one of those "pockets".

I'll go further, and predict that eventually it'll get so blatant people will be packing illegally and getting off in criminal court. We're NOT at that point yet but...we're not all that far off either.

OCCCWS
05-26-2009, 11:44 AM
It wasn't, but, now you have my curiosity up...

As of late 2008, LASD has issued 4 CCWs to La Canada residents. 3 to Judges, and 1 to a "businessman".

DDT
05-26-2009, 11:50 AM
As of late 2008, LASD has issued 4 CCWs to La Canada residents. 3 to Judges, and 1 to a "businessman".

I wonder just how close the "businessman" is to Sheriff or another eleced county official?

OCCCWS
05-26-2009, 11:57 AM
I wonder just how close the "businessman" is to Sheriff or another eleced county official?

The "businessman" appears to work in the entertainment industry.

DDT
05-26-2009, 12:01 PM
The "businessman" appears to work in the entertainment industry.

If that is the case then why not name him; as a public person there is no reason not to. Unless it is an issue of him being a "good guy" and no need to cause trouble for someone on our side.

OCCCWS
05-26-2009, 12:06 PM
If that is the case then why not name him; as a public person there is no reason not to. Unless it is an issue of him being a "good guy" and no need to cause trouble for someone on our side.

It is public record, of course. But even in the pit of favoritism that exists in CCW issuance by LASD, there may be individuals with serious threats, and just throwing out names isn't good if that is the case.

We're more interested in the statistical story told by issuance, and it's compelling.

Glock22Fan
05-26-2009, 12:31 PM
Jim, how about digging up things from the other end instead, doing some research on CCW denials who have been subsequently been beaten, killed, or raped because Baca threw them to the wolves? That's a PR fight I think we need to start fighting, ala Susanna Hupp.

I find it hard to believe that they don't keep records of denials, but according to a PRAR that TBJ sent to Baca, they don't.

oaklander
05-26-2009, 12:43 PM
Is it still amateur night?

CnCFunFactory
05-28-2009, 4:13 PM
It wasn't, but, now you have my curiosity up...

My family has lived there for 20 years after relocating from the east coast. My dad is in pretty tight with the city council, mayor, etc. They have what seems to be never ending coffers and are willing to let anything go to trial so it seems. They are policed by LASD so I was just asking for my own curiousity. :)

Casual Observer
05-28-2009, 4:32 PM
My family has lived there for 20 years after relocating from the east coast. My dad is in pretty tight with the city council, mayor, etc. They have what seems to be never ending coffers and are willing to let anything go to trial so it seems. They are policed by LASD so I was just asking for my own curiousity. :)

With the economy the way it is now, NO ONE has a bottomless pit of money to work from. Even the more affluent cities (Newport, Irvine, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, etc. etc.) are having to make cuts to their budgets lest they start running a deficit.

KCM222
05-28-2009, 5:03 PM
Doesn't this all hinge on Nordyke?

It would probably be hard to pitch this to a city as a way to avoid lawsuits when the basis of said lawsuits is still being decided.

What am I missing?