California Court of Appeal Confirms Stay on Special Election Pending Disposition of the Appeal

March 27, 2019

California Court of Appeal Confirms Stay on Special Election Pending Disposition of the Appeal

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Today, the California Court of Appeal confirmed that Paragraph 9 of the trial court’s order in Pico Neighborhood Association, et al. v. City of Santa Monica is automatically stayed pending appeal. As a result of this ruling, while the appeal is pending, the current Council members will remain in place, and the City will not be required to conduct district-based elections.

The parties previously agreed that other paragraphs of the trial court’s order that require the City to conduct district-based elections were automatically stayed by the City’s appeal. Plaintiffs contended, however, that paragraph 9 of the trial court’s order, which prohibits any person not elected through a district-based election from serving on the City Council after August 15, 2019, remained enforceable and was not stayed by the appeal. The City challenged this by way of a writ petition, arguing that Paragraph 9 effectively required the City to hold a district-based election before August 15, 2019, and as a result should also be subject to the automatic stay. The Court of Appeal agreed and confirmed that Paragraph 9 is subject to an automatic stay while the appeal is pending.

Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, one of the lawyers representing the City, said:

“We very much appreciate the Court’s ruling. The City’s electoral system is fair and inclusive and constitutional and the Court’s decision today keeps that system in place while the City’s appeal proceeds.”

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