Federal Judge Rules Against Lawsuit to Stop L.A County Court Closures. But, Battle Will Continue…
Late on March 18th, a Federal court judge ruled that the Federal Courts had no right to intercede in State court matters (“abstention” doctrine). Thus, the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Coalition for Economic Survival, People Organized for Westside Renewal, Union de Vecinos, the Independent Living Center of Southern California and several impacted individuals to stop the closure and consolidation of Los Angeles County Superior was thrown out.
The judge ruled purely on the issue of abstention. He felt strongly that this was an issue that should go to either State court or the Federal Court of Appeals. But, he did not rule on the merits of our case. As a result, there is strong determination by the attorneys and plaintiffs to continue on.
Our attorneys at the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Disability Rights Legal Center are weighing the next step to take. But, there will, most certainly, be a next step!
The courts cannot be allowed to move forward with this court closure and consolidation policy. The impact would be devastating to poor people and people living with disabilities.
As reported in an earlier post (click here to read), we believe this action will also result in a significant increase in unjust and illegal evictions. The courts must not be allowed to slam the door of justice in the face of the people we all serve.