Los Angeles, CA (December 2, 2013) – Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark V. Mooney issued a tentative ruling that orders the City of Palmdale to end at-large elections in favor of four districts and a citywide mayoral position and orders that no member of Palmdale's City Council can hold office after July 9, 2014.
"We are not surprised by the well thought out ruling by Judge Mooney", said attorney R. Rex Parris who represented the plaintiff is also the Mayor for the neighboring City of Lancaster. "The effects of the City of Palmdale's at- large method of election were apparent and compelling to the court."
The plaintiff in the case, Juan Jauregui, alleged that the imposition of the City of Palmdale's at- large method of election has resulted in vote dilution for Latino and African American residents, and has denied them effective political participation in elections to the Palmdale City Council. The tentative ruling from the court was issued on November 27, 2013.
The ruling states that "the current member of the Palmdale council was elected through an unlawful election. The citizens of the City of Palmdale are entitled to have a council that truly represents all members of the community. More importantly, the Latino and African American citizens of Palmdale deserve to have their voices heard in the operation of their city. This can only be accomplished if all members of the city council are lawfully elected. To permit some members of the council to remain who obtained their office through an unlawful election will not remedy the clear violation. Therefore the Court finds that in order to tailor an appropriate remedy to address the violation, the special district-based election is to be held for all four districts."
The complaint, which was filed in April 2012, alleged that Palmdale's at- large method of electing members to its City Council prevents Latino and African American residents from electing candidates of their choice or influencing the outcome of Palmdale's City Council elections. Recognizing that the sort of at-large elections employed by the City of Palmdale for electing its City Council often prevent racial minorities from meaningfully participating in the political process, the California Legislature enacted the CVRA in 2002 to combat this disenfranchising impact. The case is Juan Jauregui v. City of Palmdale, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles Case Number: BC483039. A copy of the decision is attached.
[About The R. Rex Parris Law Firm: For over 25 years, R. Rex Parris has devoted his practice to protecting the rights of injured people and aggrieved workers. Rex and his dedicated team provide thorough, high-quality representation with integrity and compassion. From motor vehicle crashes to class actions and defective products, these lawyers fight aggressively against corporate defense attorneys and insurance companies to ensure their clients get the compensation they deserve. For more information please visit rrexparris.com.]