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California Municipal Law Blog

Daily Journal Publishes Our Public Records Article

by on August 1, 2016

posted in Public Records Act,

In its July 25, 2016 edition, the Daily Journal published our article, Making Effective Public Records Requests.  The article discusses city attorney Derek Cole’s perspective on how to streamline the records-request process and obtain records more quickly.  A link to the article is here: Making Effective Records Requests Article  ... Continue Reading

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tags: California Public Records Act, Records Requests,

A Brief Detour Into Family Law – “Date Of Separation”

by on July 27, 2016

posted in Legislative Updates,

Governor Brown signed SB 1255 on July 25, 2016 which becomes effective on January 1, 2017. The law overturns a controversial decision by the California Supreme Court in 2015 which re-set the date of separation in family law. Traditionally, when a marriage dissolved, the parties moved out of the shared residence and into their own places. Over time, this began to change, particularly with the advent of the recession. People realized that if they could co-exist in the home, they could live more cheaply and more easily co-parent their children, even while considering the marriage to be dissolved. ... Continue Reading

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tags: California Supreme Court, Family Law, Governor Brown, Marriage of Davis, New Legislation, Separation,

Paying Medical Marijuana Dispensary Taxes Doesn’t Violate Constitutional Privilege Against Self-Incrimination

by on July 25, 2016

posted in Medical Marijuana, Proposition 215,

When cities tax medical marijuana dispensaries, does the requirement that dispensary operators pay the taxes violate the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination? No, says a California appellate court. In City of San Jose v. Medimarts, Inc., the Sixth District Court of Appeal held that a corporate entity and its president could not invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege on the ground that paying the tax may subject them to criminal liability under federal law, which—at least on the books—criminalizes all transactions involving marijuana, even for medical purposes. The court’s decision ... Continue Reading

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tags: Collective Entity Doctrine, Fifth Amendment, Local Taxes, Medical Marijuana, Right Against Self-Incrimination,

How to Effectively “SLAPP” Back

by on July 4, 2016

posted in Damages,

SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation” and is perfectly named. The whole point of the lawsuit is to intimidate people into submission. The goal is not necessarily to win the case; it is to make life so difficult and expensive that the defendant just gives up and goes away. Many states, starting with California, have enacted protections against such lawsuits, recognizing that they infringe on someone’s freedom of speech and right to participate.  ... Continue Reading

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tags: Defenses, Lawsuits, Motion to Strike, SLAPP,

Court of Appeals Holds MMBA Fact-finding Applies to all Impasses, not Just Those Concerning MOUs

by on March 31, 2016

posted in Employment Law, Recent Court Decisions, Unions,

The Fourth District Court of Appeals issued two decisions yesterday that held that fact-finding under the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (“MMBA”) applies to all impasses between exclusive representatives and MMBA public agencies such as cities, counties, and special districts.  The results in these cases means that when impasse is reached in negotiations involving a city, county or special district with an exclusive representative employee organization, and that dispute involves subject matters within the scope of representation, the public agencies could be forced to engage in non-binding ... Continue Reading

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tags: AB 646, Fact-finding, MOUs, PERB,

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