Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Originally posted September 5, 2011 by Al Norris:
Very, Very Long Post...
...and you will need to read this carefully in order to understand the tactics being used by the City and County of San Francisco.
In May of 2009, Chuck Michel and Don Kates filed a complaint (Jackson v San Francisco) against San Francisco (this is an NRA case). In the complaint, the plaintiffs challenge 3 SF city and county ordinances that require all handguns be stored in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock (section 4512); prohibits discharge of any firearms within city or county (section 1290); and bans ammunition that does not serve a "sporting purpose" (section 613.10(g)).
August 27, 2009, Jackson was stayed pending a decision in Nordyke.
In another court in the Northern District fro CA, on Sept 23, 2009, CA attorney Gary Gorski filed a similar lawsuit (Pizzo v. Newsom) (copied almost word for word, the Jackson complaint), but added some State and Federal claims that are not present in Jackson.. A typical "kitchen sink" lawsuit. That case was stayed on December 10, 2009, pending a decision in Nordyke.
After some internal talks by plaintiffs NRA and Defendants City, the NRA filed a motion to relate Pizzo on Nov. 2, 2009, followed by the City on Nov. 5, 2009.
On Nov. 20, 2009, the Judge denied the motions and gave cause that the cases were not related because of the State and Federal challenges in Pizzo.
On Mar. 18, 2010, the case is reassigned a new Judge (this will work to the benefit of the defendants, as we shall see).
On June 6, 2010, Plaintiffs filed a motion for relief of stay, based upon the Stay en banc of Nordyke (stayed for the McDonald decision). Since McDonald had been argued and that decision would be released on June 28th, there was no reason to continue the stay, as the incorporation issue (from Nordyke) would be resolved, one way or another.
On July 7, 2010, the City opposed the relief of stay.
Meanwhile, on June 28, 2010, the decision in McDonald was delivered. Jackson plaintiffs filed a motion to lift the stay, which was granted (over the opposition of the Defendants) on Sept. 13, 2010. Pizzo remained stayed however.
On Sept. 22, 2010, the Defendants requested additional time to file a reply brief on the amended complaint. On Sept. 24, 2010, the NRA filed a statement that they did not oppose the additional time. This was granted on Sept. 27, 2010, by the Court.
Also on Sept. 27, 2010, the defendants renewed their motion to relate cases. Plaintiffs filed their opposition to consolidate on Nov. 18, 2010, based upon the prior ruling by the Court. Defendants filed their reply on Nov. 24, 2010, and requested even more time to answer the complaint. Additional time was granted on Nov. 29, 2010.
A hearing was held on the consolidation motion on Dec. 9, 2010. The Court denied the motion on Dec. 16, 2010. The city was granted until Jan. 27, 2011 to respond to the complaint. Another round of motions for time.
On Feb. 10, 2011, the city responded, but not with a reply to the complaint, but with yet another MTD on lack of jurisdiction via lack of standing. In a ploy to extend (yet again) time, the City re-noticed their MTD.
So here we are, two years later (last filing was July 7th) and we are still at the most preliminary of stages in this case... a Motion to Dismiss by the Defendant on grounds that were already denied, under a previous Judge, before the stay for Nordyke.
The stay was lifted in Pizzo and the replies (answers to the complaint) were filed on Mar. 3, 2011.
On Mar. 31, 2011, the NRA motioned for amicus curiae status. Briefly, this was an action by the NRA to give the Pizzo court special briefings after the plaintiffs responses, in order to protect their interests in Jackson.
Since the city has essentially stalled Jackson, Pizzo is now ahead of the game and the NRA fears that Gorski will not adequately brief the court on the details of the ordinances that are a duplicate of the NRA case in Jackson (and rightly so)!
To illustrate this, we have to back up in the Jackson case to last March, where the NRA became aware of some changes in the City/County codes which affects their case. The NRA asked for and received permission to file a supplemental complaint, outlining those changes and pleading to the new changes. Gorski, on the other hand, has made no attempt to notice the court of these changes and will still be arguing on the old ordinances, which are no longer in effect. Thus mooting his case in whole or part.
San Francisco vehemently opposes this, of course. Um, so does Gorski.
On May 5, 2011, the Court grants the NRA's motion, with the conditions that the NRA requested.
The shenanigans of San Francisco to stall one case, then the other, then the first case (again) are not working as well as they had hoped. Only because the NRA (via Chuck Michel and Don Kates) saw through the ploy and was able to avert a near disaster.
What remains to be seen is if the NRA can salvage either case from harming the other.