On Monday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge could throw out a lawsuit filed against the City of Santa Clarita following its decision to withdraw from the County of Los Angeles Public Library.
The vote, made by City Council in August, will eventually lead to the creation of the Santa Clarita Public Library, which will be staffed and operated by Library Systems and Services, or LSSI, a company that manages municipal libraries.
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The lawsuit, one of two filed by the nonprofit Save Our Library group, aims to prevent LSSI from receiving patrons’ personal information lest it fall in the hands of another outfit.
The City, represented by Burke, Williams and Sorensen, LLP, filed a demurrer in November, which states, “(Save Our Library) has no valid grounds upon which to challenge the City’s exercise of its discretionary legislative functions, so instead Plaintiff has conjured up a frivolous lawsuit replete with erroneous legal conclusion and irrelevant factual allegations.”
Demurrers, usually submitted in the early stages of legal proceedings, challenge the validity of a claim, cause of action or defense. If sustained, they can effectively squash a lawsuit.
According to Save Our Library’s attorney, Don Ricketts, a ruling in favor of the City could compel the same result in the second lawsuit, as it is related to the first.
A third lawsuit, however, will probably remain unaffected. The lawsuit, filed by Edward Shain, alleges the City violated the Brown Act in the process of withdrawing from the County Library system.
The Brown Act was created with the intent to prohibit California governments from making decision ahead of a vote.
The demurrer is scheduled to be heard at 8:30 a.m. at the Superior Court in Chatsworth.