Twelve defense attorneys, four City of Santa Barbara lawyers, four police officers, two members of the media, and one Judge James Brown gathered Wednesday afternoon for the next round in the city’s quest to install a gang injunction, though not much actually happened at the hearing.
The biggest news to come out of the scheduled meeting (which turned out to be mostly procedural) was that oral arguments for a preliminary injunction would come on November 16, with both sides briefing the case prior to that. A preliminary injunction would have similar effects as a permanent injunction: Alleged gang members wouldn’t be allowed to wear certain types of clothing, associate with fellow gang members, or congregate in certain locations — “safety zones” — throughout the city. The widely controversial, permanent version of the injunction is slowly making its way through the legal process.
The original legal document — filed in March, not long after two separate incidents in which citizens with no gang ties died at the hands of alleged gang members — names 30 defendants who Police Chief Cam Sanchez and others have labeled the city’s “baddest of the bad.” Roughly half of the alleged gang members are currently behind bars, many of them with rap sheets to back up the city’s claims that they have violent histories. But there are others who are claiming their gang history, and perhaps more importantly, current lifestyle, are not being accurately portrayed by their names being on the list.
Because the original court filing made reference to defendants’ juvenile court proceedings, the city filed an amended complaint on July 22, supposedly to eliminate all references to juvenile court. The amended complaint, however, is under seal, unavailable for public consumption. The court intended to unseal the complaint, as well as any future documentation in the case, but held off on such an order this time around. Going forward, Judge Brown said in his court order Wednesday, there was to be no reference to any juvenile court proceedings.
As for the preliminary injunction, Tom Shapiro from the city attorney’s office hinted that documents that will be submitted in support of the city’s request for preliminary injunction will be a couple hundred pages long.
The next court date is October 12.