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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Judge to San Juan: Restore the News Racks

We have been fairly clear in our opposition to the San Juan Capistrano newspaper ban.  See here for example.  We were pleased when the City Council voted to propose a settlement to Community Common Sense, a vocal political group that publishes one of the banned newspapers.  Unfortunately, the proposal was not acceptable to CCS and the parties were back in court recently.  This time, the judge gave the parties fairly clear instructions to negotiate a settlement, and he even went so far as to tell the parties what that settlement needed to be:

You need to agree where these news racks are going to be,” [Orange County Superior Court Judge James] Di Cesare said to the lawyers today, sending them to the jury room to negotiate. “You’re not going to leave here until we’re done or I’ll decide where they’re going to be.

After 45 minutes, the judge then pulled the lawyers into his chambers. When they emerged, Di Cesare said the racks will be placed, by Dec. 24, to the right of City Hall’s entry doors, where a trash receptacle is currently located. The racks used to be the left of the door.

Also part of the order, Common Sense will be permitted to put 10 copies of its publication in the senior reading room at the Community Center.

The agreement will take shape as an order from the judge, who placed a Feb. 27 hearing to discuss the matter further.

So the Judge has ordered the news rack back at City Hall.  Seems like this case is all over but the paperwork.  The SJC Patch has more details here.  Don Juan may be just a simple country man, but he knows that when a big city judge tells you to go into a room and negotiate a deal, and that same judge tells you what the deal ought to be, that judge is pretty well telling the parties how the court is going to rule on your case.  You’d do well to take the hint and listen.

1 comment to Judge to San Juan: Restore the News Racks

  • Jim Reardon

    DJO, since these settlement discussions were confidential, it isn’t at all clear that the city’s proposal was actually a proposal to settle. All we have is the prepared comment read by one City Council member following the closed or “executive” meeting in which the matter was discussed. That statement contained no details of the secret city proposal, if indeed there was one.

    Since the judge decided it necessary to issue an order, it is clear that part of the problem had to be the intransigence of the City. In the judge’s order, CCS effectively got the restraining order it sought. But the case in whole is not settled. This result seems inconsistent with any desire on the part of the city council majority to settle the matter.