California open government roundup: Tribe set back on bid for casino to satisfy Brown Act requirement

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals dealt a blow to an Indian band who has spent years trying to build a hotel/casino on an abandoned naval base owned by the city of Richmond. The court ruled that tribal sovereign immunity was rendered moot through litigation in federal district court so that a nonprofit environmental group could hold the city to adhere to the Brown Act, the state’s open meeting law, in any settlement over the casino proposal. (Metropolitan News-Enterprise, September 23, 2020, by a MetNews Staff Writer)

Opponents to changing the name of Drake High School are accusing the Tamalpais Union High School District of violating the Brown Act in removing signs with the school’s name without public notice or comment. The school board is planning a long review process to study the issue and get community input. (Marin Independent Journal, September 23, 2020, by Keri Brenner)

A citizens group contends that the Los Angeles City Council conducted a meeting without an agenda, proper public notice or provision for public comment. A federal district judge presided over a hearing on August 7 to allow city council members to brief the judge on progress in providing shelter for the homeless now camped near freeways and in underpasses. (Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2020, by Doug Smith)

A Superior Court judge rejected an Anaheim request to throw out parts of a lawsuit against the city on a proposed Angel Stadium land sale. The People’s Homeless Task Force, a resident group, sued the city for allegedly violating the Brown Act by conducting secret meetings on the sale. (Voice of OC, September 14, 2020, by Spencer Custodio)

Homeowners against a Cathedral City ban on short-term rentals have alleged that the city violated the Brown Act by changing the ordinance substantially from an August meeting. The city has held months of public meeting with presentations and comments from the public. (Desert Sun, September 9, 2020, by Julie Makinen)

A Kern County judge rejected a motion by the American Civil Liberties Union contending that the city violated the Brown Act by approving permits for ICE detention centers without allowing public input. (KGET, September 8, 2020)

The Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) sued Marin County to prevent them from providing information to a Ross resident under the California Public Records Act. MALT contends they have already given up numerous documents to Kenneth Slayen who sought unsuccessfully to obtain a conservation easement from MALT in 2015. Slayen says MALT is a legislative body under the Brown Act and must conduct itself with appropriate transparency. (Marin Independent Journal, September 8, 2020, by Richard Halstead)

A California court of appeals ruled that the Sacramento City Council and Councilman Jay Schenirer denied a fair hearing to a developer for a permit to operate a Safeway fueling station. (California Globe, September 3, 2020, by Katy Grimes)

Police Departments are finding ways of skirting the state’s AB 748 that orders departments to release videos of officers firing weapons or using force that causes bodily injury. Departments are not always releasing unedited videos as shown in a June 27 shooting in San Diego. The department released a video within 24 hours but did not provide all the raw footage of the incident and then hired a private contractor to produce a presentation of the event. (KPBS, September 1, 2020, by Claire Trageser)