The Mountain Enterprise Joins Lawsuit to Defend Brown Act

FRAZIER PARK (Thursday, May 5, 2011, 3 p.m.)—The Mountwin Enteprise has joined colleagues in the California Newspaper Publishers’ Association in filing a major "friend of the court" brief to protect the "open meetings" section of this state’s Ralph M. Brown Act. The case is unprecedented, and the state’s newspapers—large and small—have joined together to protect the critical right for the people to not be shut out from viewing deliberations by public officials that will affect their lives.

This is the same Ralph M. Brown Act that is being removed from some Antelope Valley Rural Town Council bylaws recently. More about the lawsuit and its significance will be reported in the The Mountain Enterprise next week. The County of Tulare Board of Supervisors held 30 luncheons with the members of the board and the county counsel, behind closed doors, in advance of the public meetings.

The Visalia newspaper filed a Brown Act writ petition against this alleged violation. The trial judge ruled against the newspaper, but the appeal is being joined by the full roster of state newspapers who wish to be sure that this attack on the public’s rights is quickly overturned.

The law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP of San Francisco is representing the plaintiff in this appeal, and has filed the "friend of the court" brief on behalf of the the CNPA, joined by The Mountain Enterprise, The New Mountain Pioneer, Associated Press, the New York Press Association, the Los Angeles Times, the Bakersfield Californian, the Fresno Bee, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the First Amendment Coalition, the Sacramento Bee and about 100 additional newspapers.


This is part of the May 06, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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