Coalition News

FAC sues Palm Springs water agencies for data on water use by corporate customers

The First Amendment Coalition on Friday filed a CPRA suit against two government water agencies in the Palm Springs area to compel them to make public water usage data, by customer name, for each of their biggest corporate customers. The agencies, Coachella Valley Water District and the Desert Water Agency, have published this information in […]

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Federal Judge rules in FAC case: US can keep secret a legal memo on drone strikes targeting US citizen

In a national security case brought by the First Amendment Coalition, a federal judge has ruled that the Obama administration does not have to disclose a Justice Department legal memo explaining the legal rationale for drone strikes and, in particular, drone strikes abroad against suspected terrorists who are also US citizens. FAC’s suit, based on […]

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Attorneys Jean-Paul Jassy, Scott Lindlaw elected to FAC board of directors

FAC is pleased to announce the recent election of two first amendment attorneys to its board of directors. Jean-Paul Jassy, a partner in the law firm Jassy Vick Carolan, has often worked with FAC on First Amendment cases. Most recently he represented FAC in a case against the LA County Sheriff for access to visitor […]

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In settlement with FAC, LA County Jail releases inmate visitor log, agrees to relax secrecy rule

SCHEER–As part of a legal settlement with the First Amendment Coalition, the Los Angeles County Jail has agreed to pull back its veil of secrecy on the identities of persons who visit incarcerated public officials. The jail’s prior policy had been to withhold—on grounds of privacy-protection–the names of visitors to all jail inmates. Going forward, […]

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FAC leads Amicus brief urging CA Supreme Ct to require public access in commitment hearings

When a county tries to commit a person, against his will, to a psychiatric facility, may that judicial proceeding–which involves lawyers, a judge and a jury trial—be held behind closed doors, with no access at all for the press and public? A California appellate court recently held that such proceedings not only may be secret, […]

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Supreme Court to hold oral argument in FAC case this Wednesday at Boalt Hall. Be there!

Have a few hours to spare this Wednesday, Oct. 9? The California Supreme Court will hear arguments in FAC’s lawsuit against the State Bar (Case No. S194951), starting at 10am. The hearing is being held, not at the Court’s courtroom, but at the UC Berkeley School of Law, Room 215, Boalt Hall. FAC Board member […]

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Victory for newspaper publisher Tim Crews and FAC in Appeals Court decision

A state Court of Appeal has ruled that small-town California newspaper publisher Tim Crews does not have to pay legal fees to a school board he sued over his public records request. The unanimous decision (see Court of Appeal’s opinion below) represents a crucial victory for government transparency and a welcome success for the First […]

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Legal Seminar on Public Records Litigation

FAC’s Peter Scheer to speak at May 8 public records litigation seminar

What are the practical steps that citizens and media should take before bringing a lawsuit in a public records case? This question will be the focus of discussion for FAC Executive Director Peter Scheer and other top government-access legal specialists participating in the Public Records Act Litigation Seminar, Wed., May 8 in San Francisco. The […]

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LA County Tax Assessor John Noguez in court

FAC files suit for logs showing who visited LA’s County Assessor in jail

PS–The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) has filed a Public Records suit to find out who has visited LA county jail inmate John Noguez, the embattled LA County Assessor who faces twenty-four felony counts for bribery, perjury and related public corruption charges. Noguez was arrested in October, along with an aide and a political contributor, following […]

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LAPD's "Stingray" cell-phone tracking

LAPD’s use of “Stingray” cell-phone monitoring tool revealed by FAC public records request

BY PETER SCHEER–The records published below–released to the First Amendment Coalition by the Los Angeles Police Department–confirm LAPD’s use, in criminal investigations, of a controversial technology for tracking cell phones. Devices using this technology, “International Mobile Subscriber Identity” locators, operate by mimicking a cellphone tower, causing cell phones that are within range to connect to […]

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