Gang Injunction Still Stuck in Juvenile Court

Judge Expresses Mild Frustration with Slow-Moving Process

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
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The city’s proposed gang injunction remains stalled as both sides wait for a court ruling on whether juvenile information may be released and used to boost the city’s argument in favor of the legal filing.

Attorneys representing the city, DA’s Office, and some of the defendants were in front of Judge Colleen Sterne briefly Monday morning to inform her the matter was still stuck in juvenile court. They are waiting on Judge Thomas Adams to determine whether there is good cause for the records to be released. There is a hearing on that issue slated for mid-month. If Adams finds there is good cause, it is likely individual hearings will follow.

The city’s controversial plan — which names 30 people, along with the Eastside and Westside gangs — would prohibit gang members from wearing certain types of clothing and from associating with other gang members in proposed “safe zones” around the city. They wouldn’t be allowed to have weapons, use drugs or alcohol, or recruit for their gang in these zones. These 30 people have been labeled by police as the city’s “baddest of the bad.”

The city is attempting to use the juvenile information — usually held under seal — to help prove the need for an injunction. Sterne ruled last year that the city could not include the information without permission of the juvenile court. So the city petitioned the juvenile court for records regarding 27 of the 30 named defendants. (Three defendants do not have juvenile records.)

Once that issue is resolved, the matter will likely head to trial in front of Sterne, who will decide whether it is appropriate to label the gangs and gang members a nuisance. In the meantime, Sterne pushed the next hearing in her courtroom to July 8. “I do wish this [was] moving forward a little more rapidly,” she said.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

The dream team: Adams and Sterne. Yes it is truly ground breaking material to "decide whether it is appropriate to label the gangs and gang members a nuisance."

Gee Colleen, pick up the phone and ask Tom what is the hold up?

In the meantime, how many more youngsters are being recruited, corrupted, beaten up or worse by these nuisances?

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
April 9, 2013 at 10:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Constitutionally vetted gang injunction is only controversial to gang bangers and their sympathizers.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
April 9, 2013 at 12:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So for all the city treasury time and money spent on this, how many of these wannabe injunctified people could have been given a full college scholarship instead.

Answer: ALL OF THEM because the city pricetag has now hit a million dollars!!

Follow. The. Money.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
April 9, 2013 at 12:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@ John_Adams... Sorry but your comments really have no logic in reality. These young boys and girls have no interest in the future from the beginning when raised by gang members or raised in the presence of them.

They feel empowered by standing together in public intimidating others, and not just other gang members. They have a delusion that intimidation equals respect so when others don't bow down to them they tend to strike (just like animals).

The gang injunction is a worthy and necessary tool at twice the price. While some work hard proving gangs have the right congregate the gangs work hard at taking rights away from innocent citizens through intimidation and violence.

Let the police have this tool.

Validated (anonymous profile)
April 9, 2013 at 12:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Once again, like the war on drugs...or gun control, this only deals with the symptoms while the underlying issues are ignored. Tick, tick, tick...

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 9, 2013 at 7:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

“Once again, like the war on drugs...or gun control, this only deals with the symptoms while the underlying issues are ignored. Tick, tick, tick...”

@BC: Shouldn't the list of ‘wars’ include one targeting drunk driving?

As in all crises, triage-type action is required to suppress the immediately threatening symptoms. Such triage should be followed by longer-term treatment that addresses the “underlying issues.” If a fire threatens your house, you do your best to quickly extinguish the fire (triage). Then, if you’re successful and wise, you change your landscaping (for example) to make it less likely that a fire will threaten your property again. A gang injunction is triage, as are at least some laws addressing drug and alcohol use, and gun control. Short-term triage-type action may be necessary, but alone it won’t solve the associated, underlying, long-term causes of chronic threats.

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
April 10, 2013 at 6:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hodgmo is dead on correct. I have never argued that gang injunctions are the solution but simply one of many tools that are all necessary when used in concert.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
April 10, 2013 at 1:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The real cost of the injunction is a city-wide loss of property value within the proposed nuisance area.
My home is in the area which DA Joyce Dudley and City Attorney Steve Wiley seek to have declared a nuisance area. My realtor tells me that already now, if I try to sell, I must disclose to the buyer that I am in the proposed nuisance area. Our officials are asking the court to declare that around my house people are at immediate risk of attack and intimidation by gang members. Which is just not true. But if I fail to explain all this to the buyer the buyer may be able to back out of the contract or sue me. It is madness.
How much has this already cost me in property value? $1000 $10,000? How much are the good folks in Mission Canyon going to lose? My neighborhood, near Cottage Hospital no more nuisance than theirs. But I don't look forward to explaining that to an out of town buyer or renter.
DA and City Attorney say that 30 defendants--most of whom are already in prison (!)--can apply to opt out of the injunction.
Well, I want to opt my property out too, but Dudley and Wiley have no option for that.
Their model might work great in LA County where property values are depressed by real gang terror, but they should have thought things through before trying to apply it here.
Perhaps an economist can put a number on what this will cost us Santa Barbara property owners but one thing is certain: It is a number that will make the DA's and City Attorney's hundreds of thousands in legal fees look miniscule in comparison.

Review (anonymous profile)
April 11, 2013 at 1:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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