Roundup 5/2/11: Forum Law News, Comment

Bell Bills: Measures React to City Scandals    The CalAware-supported AB 392 (Alejo) passed its first hurdle in the Assembly Local Government Committee last week on a 6-1 vote and was part of a bundle of measures launched to avert repetitions of the crimes and other excesses uncovered in Bell and other Los Angeles County cities, reports Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles TimesAB 392 would require all local government bodies that have websites to post their meeting agendas and related staff reports on them at least 72 hours in advance.

Same-day Access to Court Records Trimmed   The CalAware co-sponsored SB 326 (Yee) appeared due to take a severe haircut in the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow (Tuesday). Instead of requiring the California Judicial Council to adopt a rule requiring trial courts to provide press and public with day-one access to most new court filings in civil lawsuits and criminal cases, the bill may well be altered, at the insistence of the Judicial Council, to allow an 18 month delay in adopting the rules, and even then applying them only to courts that have "fully implemented" the new computer-based Case Management System that has proven so costly and problem-ridden. Whom to thank: Committee Chair Noreen Evans sits on the Judicial Council.

Prison System Watchdog to Be Dismantled?    The Senate Public Safety Committee will give a first hearing to two bills tomorrow (Tuesday) proposing to shut down the in-house Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, reports Don Thompson for the Associated Press.

CHP Sued for Arresting Preachers at DMV Office    You're waiting in line outside the DMV office when a fired-up preacher starts haranguing you from a planter strip in the parking lot. Is he a big enough violation of your rights to have him arrested for trespass?  A CHP officer thought so a couple of months ago, and now the preachers—others were arrested later in the day—are suing the Patrol for violating their First Amedment rights, reports John Asbury for the Press-Enterprise in Riverside.

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