BREAKING: Judge Grants City Request for Stay of ACLU’s Council Districts Lawsuit

Today, the OC Superior Court Judge Franz Miller granted the City of Anaheim’s request for a stay of the ACLU’s litigation to force a switch from at-large election of council members to a single-member district system.

The judge stayed the lawsuit until July 9 in order to give the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections the opportunity to complete its work, and for the City Council to take the CAC’s report under consideration for action.

UPDATE: The city had two motions before the court today. One was a motion to dismiss the ACLU’s lawsuit – I believe that’s what a request for a “judgment on pleadings” is — was continued until July 9.

The other motion was for the stay, which Judge Miller did grant. The court case is now scheduled for July 7. A conference for July 9, at which the city will to present a “detailed time line for any proposed city election.”

From the OCCourts.org website:

Reasoning: Deny reqst for j/n as untimely; ct has inherent power to stay proceedings in the interests of justice and to promote judicial efficiency (Freiberg 33 A4 1484, 1489; although ct should consider traditional factors of judicial economy, MP hardship, and RP prejudice (Rivers 980 FSupp 1358, 1360), where, as here, there are separation of powers considerations (see Connecticut Indemnity 23 C4 807,814), that factor has particular importance; cts should defer when practical to legislative solutions to potential constitutional problems, especially where the democratic process is invoked; if ct finds current voting scheme for city council unconst, ct will either order a particular scheme or order Anaheim to come up w/ one; re the former option, Anaheim correctly notes it is not reqrd to adopt a particular scheme, just a const one; re the latter option, that appears to be what Anaheim is moving toward now; reqstd say time is de minimis; a serious timeline/game plan is necessary to ensure any problems are remedied with all due speed

The city’s legal fees, which the pro-single member district faction and the Vichy Anaheim-types find so objectionable, shouldn’t move much in the interim. Given the sum the city spent litigating the Angels name change, it strikes me pound-foolish to engage in hand-wringing over a legal bill related to Anaheim’s governing structure for the next 100 years.

UPDATE: Voice of OC’s Adam Elmahrek was at the hearing and has more details here.

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