News Index > Sortable News 10/06 - now > May 2008
Activists Win Anti-Slapp Motion Against Los Angeles
ACTIVISTS WIN ANTI-SLAPP MOTION AGAINST THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES
This is the 3rd anti-slapp motion (a motion to �strike� a TRO as being unconstitutional) won by animal rights activists campaigning to "Stop the Killing" at LA�s Department of Animal Services (LAAS)
Los Angeles, CA: On Friday April 25th Judge Richard Rico granted the attorney representing two picketers the anti-slapp motion he filed against the city and deputy city attorney�s Vivienne Swanigan and Hugo Rossitor. This case resulted from a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued for Maria Teresa Blackman, Deputy Mayor Jimmy Blackman�s ex-wife, who claimed she was in fear of the two activists picketing her neighborhood. As soon as the case was filed by the city attorney�s office against the two activists, an ethical complaint was filed on behalf of the two picketers stating that because Maria Blackman is a private citizen, taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for her attorney�s expenses to litigate this matter. However, it was later disclosed that both Rocky Delgadillo and Mayor Villaraigosa gave special permission to the two deputy city attorneys to use tax funds to pay for full representation of Maria Blackman no matter the cost. Hundreds of letters and e-mails were sent to Laura Chick, city comptroller along with the Ethics Committee by LA residents complaining that their tax money was being spent on this frivolous and unconstitutional litigation; thus far none of the complaints have been responded to.
The city of LA brought this TRO against two legal picketers who were simply leafleting and picketing the neighborhood where Jimmy Blackman owns a residence in order to expose and educate the neighborhood about the thousands upon thousands of cats, dogs, puppies, kittens and wildlife being needlessly killed because of Villaraigosa�s and Blackman�s appointee Ed Boks, to head up the LAAS. Under Ed Boks, the killing has gone up another 24% in the first quarter of 2008 alone. The Mayor and his staff appointed Boks in 2006 after Boks had been let go as the general manager of Maricopa, Arizona�s shelter system and fired by NYC as their executive direction of the NYC Animal Care and Control. Boks never graduated college and apparently because his credentials wouldn�t have past city personnel review, Mayor Villaraigosa circumvented the city�s hiring by-laws and appointed Boks anyway.
Animal activists have been waging a campaign in Los Angeles demanding that Villaraigosa and Blackman keep the pledge they made in 2005 to hire No Kill Solutions to consult with LAAS and then implement their proven No Kill Equation which has saved tens of thousands of animals from death in other municipal shelters throughout the US. Nathan Winograd of www.nokillsolutions is a Stanford graduate and attorney who has dedicated his life to revamping the archaic and abusive ways most city shelters imprison and kills homeless and lost animals, and has created practical, realistic and compelling policies, protocols and programs which when implemented in city shelters, have drastically increased the adoption rate and decreased the kill rate.
One of the defendants, Pamelyn Ferdin, stated after departing Judge Rico�s courtroom, "Judge Rico upheld the Constitution this morning which the framers of our country fought so hard for and which George W. has stated is just a damn piece of paper! I think with Obama in the race for President, the climate has changed even before his nomination; Obama has indicated in many of his campaign speeches how Americans must take their government back from the sleazy politicians and lobby groups who have infested the highest political offices. He also has mentioned the fact that the Americans who went out and protested during the civil rights era and who were then attacked and sued by the government were heroes. I don�t feel like a hero per se, but I do know that it�s a fact that the City of LA is using hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars to try and stop picketers like me from letting the residents of LA know who is responsible for this slaughter and what they can do about it."
Ferdin went on to say that "Villaraigosa has been so busy brown nosing Hillary Clinton for a spot in Washington as well as engaging in several adulterous affairs on his wife and family he doesn�t have the time or the interest in keeping the pledge he made to the homeless and lost animals of this city, as well as the humane community and residents who pay his salary. Unless he and his staff begin to take the needless slaughter of homeless and lost animals seriously by taking simple steps to hire an expert in this area, picketers will simply continue our fight to stop the killing as long as it takes. We will never back down from this fight."
The attorney who represented Ferdin at his own great expense will now be filing an affidavit for reimbursement of expenses he incurred fighting the city. Ferdin and her pro se co-defendant didn�t have the �luxury� of taxpayers paying all their legal expenses as did private LA resident Maria Blackman.