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Trial Date Set For Gang Injunction

The City’s Proposal Will Be Heard in Court Mid-March


Thursday, October 31, 2013
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Nearly three full years after its initial unveiling, Santa Barbara’s proposed and much-debated gang injunction will get its day in court sometime in the middle of March. At that time, Judge Colleen Sterne will determine whether the proposal ​— ​which would severely limit the rights of 30 named alleged gang members to freely assemble ​— ​is warranted and whether there’s sufficient evidence to conclude that those named pose sufficient risk to the community to justify the additional restrictions.

In response to growing concern of “mission creep” by activists critical of the proposed injunction, Assistant City Attorney Tom Shapiro asked Judge Sterne to strike the 300 “John and Jane Does” listed on the complaint beyond the 30 adults named. Although the inclusion of such “Does” is boilerplate language common to much civil litigation, it was seized upon by critics to suggest that what City Hall described as a very limited action would be far broader and open ended. The elimination, however, will do little to quell suspicions. As Shapiro readily acknowledged, if the injunction is approved, nothing precludes City Hall from adding additional people to the list. Their inclusion, however, would be the subject of a new court action and would have to be approved by a judge. Attorney Tara Haaland-Ford ​— ​who represents an alleged gang member named in the injunction ​— ​seized upon this fact. “They could paper the entire community,” she argued.

The issue became sufficiently contentious that Mayor Helene Schneider, a proponent of the injunction, wrote an op-ed piece that appeared in the Santa Barbara News-Press last week insisting that the injunction would be limited to just the 30 individuals named. Schneider also took the unusual step of criticizing a city councilmember by name ​— ​Cathy Murillo ​— ​accusing her of spreading misinformation about what the injunction would do. Murillo, the only councilmember to oppose the injunction, had been quoted in the media questioning whether the filing would prohibit named individuals from riding the same bus to classes at City College or taking their kids to schools. Murillo later elaborated that she had raised such questions on behalf of social-service providers who deal with at-risk youth. (At a City Council meeting in May, City Attorney Steve Wiley stated it would be “stupid” if the city sought to use the injunction in that fashion and stated no judge would ever approve it.)

Initially, Judge Sterne had suggested an earlier date to start the trial, but one of the lead attorneys arguing against the injunction had to be in Santa Maria representing one of the 30 who’s since been charged with torture and extortion in a gang-related drug ring. Haaland-Ford, however, said the facts would demonstrate that her client should never have been named because he’s a new father, taking classes, staying out of trouble, and “focusing on his family.”

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Talk about 30 people misses a crucial point.

The DA and City Attorney first convince the judge to declare a large portion of downtown Santa Barbara a "nuisance area." Days of public trial will be spent denouncing our city to the world. Testimony will be heard about how dangerous blighted Santa Barbara is. State Street blighted? Please look at the proposed map. These are not blighted areas. This is a lose lose trial for our community.

The scheme starts with devaluation of our real estate. By "our" I mean "my", since I live in the proposed nuisance zone.

Our economic health depends upon the reputation that Santa Barbara is a safe and beautiful place. Now our elected officials are recklessly placing this reputation in jeopardy.

What mechanism is there for the people whose property value will be affected by this to have a voice at the trial?

No one seems to be able to answer that.

This is not about 30 gang members who are already in prison or on probation. It is about 3000 and more homeowners and business people, many of whom--unlike Joyce Dudley and Steve Wiley--do not believe our neighborhoods are nuisance zones.

Review (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 12:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry Review, but you will become a victim of the biggest and baddest gang in SB, and they don't live on the poorer sides of town either.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 9:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Review is going to be arrested?

loonpt (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 10:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, it looks like now both the Independent and Mission & State news publications have confirmed that Murillo was correct last week and many times earlier to be concerned that the proposed gang injunction was too broad and nebulous. It took until this week for the city attorneys to put it all in writing and file with the court of law an updated complaint about the "John and Jane Does".

Read it here in the analytical article by Mission & State:
http://www.missionandstate.org/featur...
"Who’s Being Served? Mayor’s iffy Op-Ed and PODER rally raise gang injunction jitters."

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 10:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Our Town" has a reputation all right...

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 11:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

PODER, PUEBLO = OPPORTUNISTS. They want justice for 1 particular breed of people, but fail to realize the gang culture IS heavily ingrained in their breed of people. Why is that?
Gert the injunction going, separate & isolate the problem children, make life as tough for them as they've made it for the people in the neighborhoods they've terrorized for FAR too long.
Why should bad behavior go unpunished? Time for some spankings to take place in 3... 2... 1...

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2013 at 11:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Review that is ridiculous. How shortsighted. Over time your hallowed real estate prices may be better because there won't be gang members. Seems it is more important to think of the me and here and now, instead of our kids futures. Part of the problem with SB: All I care about is my bitchen real estate price..." Lame. Think bigger picture people. And if you think east and west side gangs are bad, wait till some of their bigger brothers start getting involved.

Finally, in closing, I would like to say that the last paragraph of this article pretty much says it all.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
November 4, 2013 at 1:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bimbo, you mean this little snippet?

"Initially, Judge Sterne had suggested an earlier date to start the trial, but one of the lead attorneys arguing against the injunction had to be in Santa Maria representing one of the 30 who’s since been charged with torture and extortion in a gang-related drug ring. Haaland-Ford, however, said the facts would demonstrate that her client should never have been named because he’s a new father, taking classes, staying out of trouble, and “focusing on his family.”"

Ain't that Herrada's right hand man they're talking about?

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
November 4, 2013 at 4:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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