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It Just Got Easier To Get Sanctions Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 128.5 – San Diegans for Open Government v. City of San Diego.

TRIAL CALL

In San Diegans for Open Government v. City of San Diego, 2016 WL 3162818, 16 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 5941, the Fourth District Court of Appeal addressed 2014 revisions to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 128.5.  Principal amongst the Fourth District’s holdings in the San Diegans for Open Government case is that under revised C.C.P. §128.5 an objective standard alone is to be applied to determine whether the actions or tactics at issue were frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay. This holding in San Diegans for Open Government will make it demonstrably easier to get C.C.P. §128.5 sanctions.

The Case

The case arose from a dispute between San Diegans for Open Government (“SDOG”), a non-profit organization acting as a “government watchdog” and the San Diego City Attorneys Office (“City Attorney”). SDOG submitted a public records request to the City Attorney seeking certain emails. The City Attorney refused to produce the requested emails claiming they were not public records.

SDOG sued the City of San Diego and the…

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