Posts Tagged ‘Superior Court’

A Courthouse Victory for CCSF: “City College Wins Reprieve, as Court Enjoins ACCJC from Terminating Accreditation”

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The Big Battle of Boxing Day 2013 is over and here’s the result:

“City College wins reprieve, as court enjoins ACCJC from terminating accreditation - Herrera grateful to court ‘for acknowledging what accreditors callously won’t: that the educational aspirations of tens of thousands of City College students matter’

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 2, 2014) — A San Francisco Superior Court judge has granted a key aspect of a motion by City Attorney Dennis Herrera to preliminarily enjoin the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges from terminating City College of San Francisco’s accreditation next July.  Under terms of the ruling Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow issued late this afternoon, the ACCJC is barred from finalizing its planned termination of City College’s accreditation during the course of the litigation, which alleges that the private accrediting body has allowed political bias, improper procedures, and conflicts of interest to unlawfully influence its evaluation of the state’s largest community college.  Judge Karnow denied Herrera’s request for additional injunctive relief to prevent the ACCJC from taking adverse accreditation actions against other educational institutions statewide until its evaluation policies comply with federal regulations.  A separate motion for a preliminary injunction by plaintiffs representing City College educators and students was denied.

In issuing the injunction, the court recognized that Herrera’s office is likely to prevail on the merits of his case when it proceeds to trial, and that the balance of harms favored the people Herrera represents as City Attorney.  On the question of relative harms, Judge Karnow’s ruling was emphatic in acknowledging the catastrophic effect disaccreditation would hold for City College students and the community at large, writing: “There is no question, however, of the harm that will be suffered if the Commission follows through and terminates accreditation as of July 2014.  Those consequences would be catastrophic.  Without accreditation the College would almost certainly close and about 80,000 students would either lose their educational opportunities or hope to transfer elsewhere; and for many of them, the transfer option is not realistic.  The impact on the teachers, faculty, and the City would be incalculable, in both senses of the term: The impact cannot be calculated, and it would be extreme.”

“I’m grateful to the court for acknowledging what accreditors have so far refused to: that the educational aspirations of tens of thousands of City College students matter,” said Herrera.  “Judge Karnow reached a wise and thorough decision that vindicates our contention that accreditors engaged in unfair and unlawful conduct.  Given the ACCJC’s dubious evaluation process, it makes no sense for us to race the clock to accommodate ACCJC’s equally dubious deadline to terminate City College’s accreditation.”

Judge Karnow adjudicated four separate pre-trial motions in today’s ruling following two days of hearings on Dec. 26 and 30.  Herrera filed his motion for preliminary injunction on Nov. 25 – three months after filing his initial lawsuit — blaming the ACCJC for procedural foot-dragging and delay tactics, which included a failed bid to remove the case to federal court and its months-long refusal to honor discovery requests.  Judge Karnow granted in part and denied in part Herrera’s motion, issuing an injunction that applies only to the ACCJC’s termination deadline for City College’s accreditation, and not statewide.

Apart from Herrera’s motion, AFT Local 2121 and the California Federation of Teachers also moved for a preliminary injunction onNov. 25, citing additional legal theories.  That motion was denied.  A third motion by the ACCJC asked the court to abstain from hearing the City Attorney’s lawsuit for interfering with complex accrediting processes largely governed by federal law; or, failing that, to stay Herrera’s action pending the outcomes of City College’s accreditation proceeding and ACCJC’s own efforts to renew its recognition with the U.S. Department of Education.  A fourth motion, also by the ACCJC, requested that the court strike the AFT/CFT’s case under California’s Anti-SLAPP statute, which enables defendants to dismiss causes of actions that intend to chill the valid exercise of their First Amendment rights of free speech and petition.  (SLAPP is an acronym for “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.”)  Both of the ACCJC’s pre-trial motions were denied.

The ACCJC has come under increasing fire from state education advocates, a bipartisan coalition of state legislators and U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier for its controversial advocacy to dramatically restrict the mission of California’s community colleges by focusing on degree completion to the detriment of vocational, remedial and non-credit education.  The accrediting body’s political agenda — shared by conservative advocacy organizations, for-profit colleges and student lender interests — represents a significant departure from the abiding “open access” mission repeatedly affirmed by the California legislature and pursued by San Francisco’s Community College District since it was first established.

Herrera’s action, filed on Aug. 22, alleges that the commission acted to withdraw accreditation “in retaliation for City College having embraced and advocated a different vision for California’s community colleges than the ACCJC itself.”  The civil suit offers extensive evidence of ACCJC’s double standard in evaluating City College as compared to its treatment of six other similarly situated California colleges during the preceding five years.  Not one of those colleges saw its accreditation terminated.

The City Attorney’s case is: People of the State of California ex rel. Dennis Herrera v. Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 13-533693, filed Aug. 22, 2013.  The AFT/CFT case is: AFT Local 2121 et al. v. Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 534447, filed Sept. 24, 2013.  Documentation from the City Attorney’s case is available online at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org.”

Oh, It’s On! A Boxing Day Courthouse Showdown Betwixt CCSF and the ACCJC – Thursday, Thursday, Thursday!

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Comes now San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, in the baby blue trunks…

…taking on the nameless, faceless Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, in the dark blue trunks.

I don’t think there’s any argument against the contention that City College of San Francisco has screwed up BIG TIME, and I think we all can agree that the ACCJC is not a perfect organization.

Anyway, Round XXXVII is coming up Thursday AM:

“Court will hear City Attorney’s motion to forbid de-accrediting City College
*** Thursday, Dec. 26, 9:00 a.m. ***

SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 24, 2013)—As a part of its lawsuit to prevent the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) from revoking the accreditation of City College of San Francisco, City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office will be appearing in San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday, December 26 to ask the court for a preliminary injunction in the case.

What: Hearing on plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction in the case of People of the State of California v. Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

When: Thursday, December 26, 2013, 9:00 a.m. Note: the court’s calendar begins at 9:00 a.m., but this particular motion may be heard at any time between 9:00 a.m. and the conclusion of the court’s morning business

Where: Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco (Complex Litigation Department), 400 McAllister St., Department 304, San Francisco, CA

If the motion is granted, the Court would not only forbid the ACCJC from de-accrediting City College until the conclusion of the case, but would acknowledge that the City is likely to prevail on the merits of the case should it go to trial.”

 

City Attorney Dennis Herrera Sues Former Supervisor Michael Yaki for More Than 70 Violations of City’s Lobbyist Ordinance

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Well, I suppose I can’t oppose enforcement of the Lobbyist Ordinance.

[And I'll mention that the "Yaki Compromise" would have had numerous salutary effects and would have saved lives lost due to the horrible Octavia Boulevard project.]

Herrera sues former Supervisor Yaki for more than 70 violations of City’s lobbyist ordinance

Lobbying for Rescue Air Systems, Inc. in the legislative process involving Fire Code revisions, Yaki ‘brazenly flouted a law with which he had no excuse to be unfamiliar’

SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 4, 2013) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against former Supervisor Michael Yaki for more than 70 violations of the city’s lobbyist ordinance during the time Yaki was paid to advocate for the interests of his client, Rescue Air Systems, Inc., in the legislative process that revised San Francisco’s Fire Code earlier this year.  According to the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning, “Yaki flouted the lobbyist ordinance in every way” by failing to register as a lobbyist, failing to disclose the amounts and sources of payments for lobbying, and failing to report his lobbying contacts.  The complaint, which was filed with 15 accompanying declarations from Board members, legislative aides, fire commissioners and S.F. Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White, alleges that Yaki misrepresented his identity as a paid lobbyist when trying to set up meetings with five Supervisors.  

The city’s lobbyist ordinance provides for civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, or three times the amount of compensation scofflaw lobbyists fail to report — whichever is greater.  Yaki himself voted to support the ordinance in 2000 while a member of the Board of Supervisors.

“San Francisco’s Lobbyist Ordinance is a good government cornerstone that brings needed transparency to our local legislative process,” said Herrera.  ”It imposes a simple requirement on lobbyists to disclose the nature and extent of work they do for their clients, and other paid advocates have managed to comply with it thousands of times.  Unfortunately, in the case we’ve filed today, the evidence is overwhelming that Mr. Yaki brazenly flouted a law with which he had no excuse to be unfamiliar.  Our lobbyist ordinance fulfills a very important function in our local government, and its aggressive enforcement is essential to the legitimacy of the law itself.” 

San Carlos, Calif.-based Rescue Air Systems, Inc. manufactures a patented “firefighter air replenishment system,” or FARS, which San Francisco’s Fire Code has required since 2004 for new buildings with a height of 75 feet or more.  When city policymakers undertook their periodic revision to the local Fire Code beginning last year, Fire Chief Hayes-White was among numerous city officials to oppose extending the FARS requirement because the San Francisco Fire Department had never used or trained on the system, and because firefighters “do not have confidence that the air coming from the FARS pipes is safe and breathable, or that the system has been checked and maintained on regular basis,” according to Hayes-White’s declaration.  

Yaki engaged in extensive lobbying efforts over a period of more than a year on Rescue Air Systems’ behalf to retain the FARS requirement.  According to the city’s complaint and supporting declarations, the former supervisor lobbied fire commissioners, S.F. Fire Department officials, staff in the Mayor’s Office, and members of the Board of Supervisors and legislative aides to extend the legal requirement for an air replenishment system that only one company — Yaki’s client — manufactured.  The City Attorney’s Office’s investigation secured evidence of at least 70 lobbying contacts, including more than 10 lobbying meetings with Supervisors and their legislative aides and more than 50 emails to city officials on behalf of Rescue Air Systems’ interests in the Fire Code revision process.  

Yaki’s lobbying efforts ultimately proved largely unsuccessful.  San Francisco’s Fire Commission passed a motion recommending that the FARS requirement be altered to offer developers a choice of whether to install FARS or a firefighter service elevator to facilitate oxygen delivery.  That recommendation was adopted as part of the San Francisco Fire Code amendments unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in September, which Mayor Ed Lee approved on Oct. 3, 2013.  

The case is: Dennis Herrera in his Official Capacity as San Francisco City Attorney v. Michael Yaki, San Francisco Superior Court, filed Dec. 4, 2013.  Due to the large file size of the 468-page court filing, the complete presskit with accompanying declarations is not being emailed but is available for download on the City Attorney’s website at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx?page=570.”

Apocalypto! Hey, What Happened to that Bay Area Mayan Prophecy “Film?” – Plus, Examiner Publisher Todd Vogt Cowardice

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Well if the world ends tomorrow, 12-21-2012, the joke’s on me.

But otherwise…

So, earlier this year some rich whacko up in Marin started making a video* in Latin America what was supposed to be all about the so-called Mayan Prophecy.

But things headed south with the production, so that got written up in a blog down south, down in Los Angeles.

And then the same basic info was posted in the San Francisco Examiner. (It used to be right here.)

And then the rich Marin whacko actually went and sued that film-industry blog earlier this year.

And then the rich Marin whacko lost her lawsuit, big time.

So then I made a post about this affair, you know, because nobody else up here had done so.

Then I got a threatening letter from the same attorney who lost the case in L.A. Read that letter here.

But apparently, that threat was all lies and jest.

Oh well.

Hey, do you like sports analogies ‘n stuff?

This is rich Marin County whacko Elisabeth Theriot’s inchoate SLAPP lawsuit against TheWrap blog, IMO:

See? Kicker Garo Yepremien tried to score a few points but then opposing counsel filed a special motion to strike that was so special that discovery was immediately halted. Then he lost the hearing and that was the end of the suit, it looks like. I’m saying Elisabeth Theriot got pwned in court.

With a quickness.

Which, you know, this kind of thing doesn’t happen every day so that’s why I made a post about it.

But now the world is supposed to end tomorrow ‘n stuff and there’s no Mayan Prophecy “film” to see.

Oh well.

Now, what about San Francisco Examiner President and Publisher Todd Vogt? Do you think he got some sort of request or demand or something from rich Marin County whacko Elisabeth Theriot or the wire service or somebody to take down the wire story on these topics, you know, that used to be posted right here?

Why would the ‘Xam have a page dedicated to rich Marin County whacko Elisabeth Theriot (just look at the URL bar) with nothing to say about her? It’s because the story about her that used to be there is no longer there.
Is there cowardice here?

I’ll tell you, TheWrap.com stood up to rich Marin County whacko Elisabeth Theriot and was/will be rewarded with mandatory attorney fees as a kind of reward.

Why couldn’t/can’t the ‘Xam stand up to rich Marin County whacko Elisabeth Theriot too?

I don’t know.

Now I’ll tell you, when an actual newspaper (improperly, IMO) caves to some rich lady, that just might have the effect of emboldening her. Then she just might start going after poor, defenseless WordPress bloggers.

But maybe I’m way off on this one.

If so, please somebody disabuse me.

* I call it a video because it was (mostly?) recorded on digicams – no film required. The current title of this still-troubled production is Mayan Revelations & Hollywood Lies. It’s delayed. It’s nonsense. Oh what’s that, we’re going to see just how important that Long Count calendar is tout de suite? No we won’t. Sorry. Oh, over the coming decades? No we won’t. Sorry.

So This Blog is Getting Sued by a Former Chronicle Publisher Wife? Read the Lawyer Letter – Why is the ‘Xam Afraid?

Friday, October 5th, 2012

[UPDATE 2013: My grandmother, who's on the wrong side of fifty but the good side of 100, is still driving her new Hyundai around and, bonus, she doesn't spend any of her hard-earned on SoCal lawyers. And her recent stomach surgery went well, so that's nice.]

Hey look what’s sitting in my Spam folder right now – it’s a scary letter from a Los Angeles attorney demanding that this blog be retracted.

Immediately.

Can you imagine?

Here’s what caused the trouble:

“Pwned! Area Socialite Elisabeth Thieriot Loses Her “SLAPP” Lawsuit against Journalists in L.A. – Mayan Prophecy”

And here’s the vast bulk of the resulting lawyer letter:

Click to expand, if you dare.

Now I can understand why the San Francisco Chronicle might not want to get involved with all the allegations surrounding the making of some movie project about the Mayan calendar deal. You know, relationships ‘n stuff. And plus, it’s not like a whole bunch of people are going to watch this flick.

So that’s one thing, but the San Francisco Examiner, did it get a similar letter earlier this year? You make the call. See? Earlier this year it used to have something to say about Elisabeth Thieriot and the Mayan Prophecy and Mexico and whatnot, but not now. Mmmm. Did the San Francisco Examiner take down a Reuters news story on this topic because it was afraid of getting sued? Sure looks that way.

Of course that online trade journal TheWrap did get sued. For one million dollars to be exact. But then it responded with a Motion to Strike and that took care of that. And then TheWrap wrote about how it won, big-time. Then I linked to its story (and the entire decision itself) and now it sure looks like I’m the next to get sued.

Comments:

Uh, do I know that this lawyer represented/s that lady? No, not all. I mean, I assume that’s the case, but what’s this “as you know” stuff?

Does the lawyer really want/expect me to retract the entire blog, all 6000 posts? (Does the lawyer actually know what a blog is? Apparently not.)

Does the lawyer want to write my blog posts for me, you know, using his point of view? Sure looks that way. Is that his right? And how can I retract something that’s not wrong?

And I’m supposed to rely on CA law about retractions that apply to the MSM, but not really? So what’s the point of bringing that up? 

And I’m “not authorized” by the lawyer to disclose the contents of the lawyer letter so I can’t do it? Really? Well, similarly, I’m not authorized by that lawyer to have a delicious Taco Bell Doritos Locos taco for lunch, so does that mean I can’t have that for lunch IRL? And I can’t show the letter to anybody, even to get help with how to respond? Is that fair dinkum? I think not.

So who else in the bay area has gotten these kinds of communications from Down South? I don’t know.

Anyway, I guess I’ll take that email chain* out of the Spam folder and put it into the Archive folder and await further developments.

But I’ll think to myself, “Man, don’t you realize you just lost, in a big way, on the very same topic in the very same state?” 

KTHXBYE.

*Apparently, Elisabeth Thieriot herself sent me an email last month as well, on purpose, or by mistake, or something in betwixt. I’ll tell her what I told my grandmother,** about how Reply All is kind of an advanced email technique best left to the younger generation, you know, so you don’t email people by mistake.

** I still can’t believe she got a Hyundai, after all those decades of her having large RWD Ford products such as the Mercury Grand Marquis.  She says her new ride is a “good  snow car.”

Pwned! Area Socialite Elisabeth Thieriot Loses Her “SLAPP” Lawsuit against Journalists in L.A. – Mayan Prophecy

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Here’s the news:

A Los Angeles judge threw out a lawsuit against TheWrap News on Wednesday, ruling that an article about movie financier Elisabeth Thieriot was both accurate and “took pains” in reporting on a production dispute with her co-producer. Judge Barbara M. Scheper of Los Angeles Superior Court sided with the news organization in granting an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss Thieriot’s complaint on the grounds that it had no probability of success on its merits.”

And you journos should check out the ruling – it’s very accessible.

Background:

Area Whacko Elisabeth Thieriot Hosted a Mayan Spiritual Leader in Tiburon and She Wants You To Know ALL About It

The Second-Best Bay Area-Related Press Release of 2012: Elisabeth Thieriot Manages to “Survive” “False Accusations”

Now, is she going to pay the attorney fees for both sides of this fiasco? Only Time Will Tell.

Now let’s see what the San Francisco Examiner has to say about all this. Uh oh, you’re still afraid, huh ‘Xam? So that’s why you took down all what you said about ET, huh? Fair ‘nough.

ET and Mr. Bigglesworth, Marin County, USA: 

And remember to KYAG by December 21, 2012, you know, when the World ends.

Will the world end in the night time?
(I really don’t know)
Or will the world end in the day time?
(I really don’t know)

PS: Fur is murder

No AT&T LightSpeed Internet Service Anytime Soon – NIMBYs Win Against City – A Stay from Judge Harold Khan

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

The hard-core NIMBYs at San Francisco Beautiful (our Comcast monopoly’s L’il Buddy) ended up going two for two yesterday in their crusade ensure that dial-up internet service is the best that some San Franciscans can get. That is, they won a stay from Superior Court Judge Harold Khan temporarily blocking the installation of AT&T sidewalk boxes and they’ll have no requirement to post a bond to keep their stay.

This is, of course, despite the fact that the Board of Supervisors recently approved the installation.

Let’s hear the reaction from AT&T Regional Vice President, Marc Blakeman:

“Residents across the City, as well as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, have voiced support for competition and choice when it comes to TV, high speed internet and digital phone service. 

Despite today’s decision to issue a temporary stay, AT&T believes it ultimately will prevail in the litigation and it remains committed to bringing San Francisco a next generation IP network.”

Which, you know, sounds good to me, but I’m not a NIMBY.

So, when you see these existing boxes, which Judge Khan has no control over, what’s your reaction? Do you say, well there’s graffiti on a telephone box or an electricity box or a mail box so we shouldn’t have telephones and we shouldn’t have electricity and we shouldn’t have mail service? I don’t know.

Click to expand

Let’s hear from the NIMBY side of things after the jump, but I warn you, it’s barely legible.

On It Goes…

(more…)

Crappy “Bauer’s ‘Intelligent’ Transportation” Update: “Upgrades” Wedding Limo to Corporate Van – Gets Sued by S.F. Bride

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Let’s just say that long-time Yelper Rosie S is not a fan of Bauer’s Limousine / Bauer’s Transportation / Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation. Why? Well, ’cause they sent a tacky van instead of a proper limo to her wedding a few months back. Check the excerpts:

The 10 passenger limo I ordered did NOT arrive. Instead, they sent us a VAN! The morning of my wedding. Not what I ordered.

I contacted the company when I returned from my honeymoon–note: they NEVER contacted me to explain the situation nor to apologize–and they said:

“I have checked with our operations department as to what happened this day and it appears there had been a mechanical issue with a regular stretch limo so they made the last minute decision to upgrade the vehicle to a limousine van.  This was our next best option at the moment.  I sincerely apologize that a regular stretch did not appear, but this was viewed as a free upgrade to the original vehicle reserved.”

Horrendous company, terrible service, awful fleet of cars if they have seemingly frequent “mechanical issues.”  Do yourself a favor and STAY AWAY FROM BAUER’S unless you want to get ripped off and disappointed!  Especially on your wedding day….

Can you believe that? Now, if I were running a crappy limo / transportation / “intelligent” transportation company, I’d feel bad about my fail whale exploding all over a wedding and I’d apologize and then I’d give a full refund, but that’s just me.

Now, speaking of crappy, how about them Bauer limousine van / bus / whatever drivers on the 101?

Speeding? Sure, we’ve got to get you to the church (or wherever) on time! But signaling? Not so much. You see, there’s no money in signaling:

Click to expand

Rosie says that the Bauer people didn’t respond to her until after she filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court, Small Claims Division. Oh well.

Now, judges might be sympathetic to plaintiffs in a situation like this, but you never know how they’d rule. Sometimes what’s in the contract is what matters and sometimes not so much. Oh well.

But I believe the gist of Rosie’s story – I don’t think that she’s committing Yelp fraud, I don’t think that she owns a rival cheesy “intelligent” transportation company or that she’s sponsored by one.

Speaking of which, there’s somebody on Yelp saying how great Bauer’s is but he neglected to add in or update the little tidbit that Bauer’s is a “sponsor” of his. Oh well. I’ll give you one guess how many Yelp stars he gives to Bauer’s IT.

Did you guess cinco?

You’re right, mi amiga/o. (And actually, it appears that purported “Luminary” and “City Bright” writer at the San Francsico Chronicle’s SFGate.com Zenophon / Zennie62 is incapable of ever giving anything less than five stars on Yelp. How sporting!)

Anyway, good luck Rosie!

Dennis Herrera Stops the Violence – Pink Diamonds Nightclub Closed for One Year

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

News of the morning: The infamous Pink Diamonds Gentlemens Club in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District will close for one year, per the motion filed by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Jose Herrera.

Hurray! Read all about it, below.

And with the Power Exchange on Mason slowly coming back online (despite the best efforts of the East Bay Homeowning, Carpetbagging, Aging White Male Patriarchy composed of CS Nevius and Randy Shaw) the ‘Loin looks to be on the upswing.

As seen on Jones Street:

pd copy

Herrera Wins Court Order Closing Violence-Plagued ‘Pink Diamonds’ Club

Site of June slaying to be shuttered for one year, with operators ordered to pay $688,500 in civil penalties plus costs

A San Francisco Superior Court this morning ordered the year-long closure of the Pink Diamonds nightclub, where a defiant pattern of lawlessness in the months following a stipulated injunction from earlier this year culminated in a brutal slaying on June 27, 2009.  The order by Judge Peter J. Busch comes in response to City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s motion last month to shutter the notorious adult entertainment venue at 220 Jones Street, which required more than 230 service calls by the San Francisco Police Department in the previous six months alone, according to the City’s petition. 

Illegality detailed from Herrera’s investigation and in accompanying police declarations included illicit drug sales, prostitution, extended hours permit violations, illegal alcohol consumption, noise nuisance violations, and repeated episodes of violence and disturbances of the peace in the surrounding neighborhood, which includes nearby senior housing. 

More deets, after the jump

(more…)