Articles Posted in California Court of Appeal

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Plaintiff, a quarter horse trainer, appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for a writ of administrative mandamus. Specifically, petitioner challenges a license suspension and fine imposed upon him by the Board after finding that he violated regulations, California Code of Regulations, title 4, section 1844, subdivision (e)(9), by racing horses medicated with a drug, Clenbuterol, that the Board had temporarily suspended from authorized use. The court concluded that the Board's interpretation of the regulation at the time it extended or reenacted the Clenbuterol ban and in the instant litigation is not entitled to deference because the Board has vacillated. The court explained that, after considering the regulation's text and history, a temporary suspension of authorized use of a particular substance under section 1844.1 may not be extended beyond 12 months through reenactment or extension of the temporary suspension. Therefore, the allegations against and findings of regulatory violations by plaintiff had no legal basis, and the penalties imposed upon him were equally invalid. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment. View "De La Torre v. California Horse Racing Board" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff and the late Robert Culp filed suit seeking to enjoin the continued operation of the elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo. Plaintiff alleged that the Zoo’s conduct violated animal cruelty provisions in the Penal Code, and constituted illegal expenditures of, waste of, or injury to public funds and property. On appeal, both parties challenged the trial court's issuance of limited injunctions prohibiting the use of particular forms of inappropriate discipline, requiring the elephants have specific amounts of exercise time, and requiring the rototilling of the soil in the exhibit. The court agreed with the trial court that the court's decision in the first appeal was law of the case of plaintiff's right to bring a taxpayer action based on violations of certain Penal Code provisions concerning animal abuse. In the alternative, the court concluded that Civil Code section 3369, which prohibits the issuance of an injunction to enforce a penal law, does not apply to taxpayer suits. The court further concluded that the trial court’s injunctions concerning soil maintenance and exercise time were proper, but rejected plaintiff's claims that the trial court erred by otherwise declining to close the elephant exhibit. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Leider v. Lewis" on Justia Law