California Municipal Law Blog

Brown Act Committee Exception on Public Comment May Not Apply to Special Meetings

by on February 27, 2019

posted in Meetings, Recent Court Decisions,

“If you will it, it is no dream…” In an unpublished opinion filed on February 22, 2019, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District held that the City of Los Angeles violated the Brown Act when the Los Angeles City Council prevented a member of the public from commenting on real estate development at a special meeting. At issue was the application of the so-called “committee exception” to the requirement that members of the public be allowed to address the legislative body “before or during” its deliberations on an item of business.  ... Continue Reading

tags: Brown Act, Committee Exception,

New Laws Affecting Public Access to Police Records: SB1421 and AB748

by on October 25, 2018

posted in Law Enforcement, Public Records Act,

The Legislature has responded to public pressure calling for increased transparency into local policing by passing two new laws that mandate disclosure of records related to officer misconduct and use of force incidents. With Governor Brown’s signature, SB1421 and AB 748 will change how police departments respond to requests for certain personnel records and recordings of use of force incidents that were previously exempt from disclosure.  ... Continue Reading

tags: AB 748, Bodycam, Law Enforcement, Officer-involved shootings, Police, Public Records, SB 1421,

Court Rules Enforcement of “Anti-Camping” Ordinance is Unconstitutional When Homeless Persons Lack Shelter

by on September 24, 2018

posted in Code Enforcement, Recent Court Decisions,

“Anti-camping” and related “sit-lie” ordinances cannot be enforced against homeless persons who have no access to overnight shelter.  As the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held on September 4, enforcement under such circumstances effectively criminalizes the status of being homeless, violating the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.  The Court’s decision, in Martin v. City of Boise, will make it difficult for local agencies to enforce their “anti-camping” ordinances to the extent they did previously.  ... Continue Reading

tags: Anti-camping ordinances, Homelessness, Martin v. City of Boise, Sit-lie ordinances,