John Stephens Defeats Writ Petition in Costa Mesa Charter Case

April 18th, 2012
By: Natasha Kader, Stephens Friedland LLP
John Stephens

John B. Stephens, along with Katrina Anne Foley, Mary Spadoni, and William Folsom (“Intervenors”), intervened in a case in which the city clerk of Costa Mesa petitioned for a writ of mandamus requiring the Registrar of Voters to accept Costa Mesa’s untimely submission of a proposed Charter resolution. Stephens Friedland LLP represented Stephens and Foley: Stephens is one of the signatories to the argument against the proposed Charter. The trial court ordered expedited briefing and heard hours of oral argument on the right of the Intervenors to be heard and on the merits of the City Clerk’s petition. Ultimately, the petition was denied by the trial court. The Court determined that the Registrar had no obligation to accept the proposed Charter for the June election ballot because the mandatory deadline had not been met. The City Clerk appealed the ruling, and the Appellate Court denied the clerk’s appeal.

Below are links to the briefs filed by Stephens Friedland LLP in the trial court as well as the transcripts of the two oral arguments on the petition for writ of mandamus.

Amicus Brief in Opposition to Ex Parte Application

Application for leave to file Complaint in Intervention

Brief in Opposition to Petition for Writ of Mandamus

Hearing Transcript 3-26-12

Hearing Transcript 3-27-12

Below are links to articles in the OC Register regarding the Costa Mesa Charter, which chronicle the events of the case in greater detail.

Costa Mesa charter plan goes to voters in June

Error may keep Costa Mesa charter off June ballot

Judge to consider Costa Mesa charter ballot snafu

Costa Mesa’s charter likely to miss June ballot

Judge: Costa Mesa charter initiative will not appear on June ballot

Costa Mesa clerk on leave after missing charter deadline


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