L.A. County judge sets expedited hearing in Recall Gascón petition lawsuit

Recall “L.A. County District Attorney George Gascon” campaign volunteers and supporters begin to unload the boxes of signatures from the back of a moving truck so that they may be submitted to the L.A. County Registrar of Voters office in this July file photo. July 6, 2022. Courtesy photo.

Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters required to show cause for its decision; hearing scheduled Dec. 6 

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk will be required to show cause as to why a preliminary injunction for additional voter records and expanded access to conduct the review of invalidated signatures should not be granted in a scheduled hearing on Dec. 6. 

Judge James Chalfant of the Superior Court of L.A. County granted the Recall District Attorney George Gascón committee’s ex parte application for an expedited hearing. In the hearing, the Registrar-Recorder’s Office will be required to demonstrate irreparable harm will take place if the plaintiffs’ request is granted, according to a prepared statement. 

“This initial decision is a win for transparency and a win for Los Angeles voters,” read a statement issued by the recall committee. ”The registrar’s counting process was seriously flawed, and the restrictions on the review prevent the recall committee from being able to demonstrate just how pervasive those errors were.” 

The recall committee recently filed for injunctive relief against the county Registrar-Recorder’s Office to remove “arbitrary and capricious” restrictions that were placed on its review of invalidated signatures.  

“California law does not give public officials unreviewable discretion to determine whether the conditions for a recall have been satisfied,” reads the complaint filed by the recall committee. “Without such review, pubic officials would effectively have the ability to thwart the very recall mechanism meant to ensure the accountability of public officials.”  

During Tuesday’s hearing, the court stated it was inclined to grant the recall committee’s requests outlined in its application, which included the disclosure of electronic versions of voter records, and the training materials related to the registrar’s voter database, according to the statement from the recall committee. 

“The court also stated the time, place and manner restrictions placed by the registrar on the review are unduly restrictive, and expanded access appeared to be warranted,” read the statement issued by the recall committee. “The court ordered the parties to meet and confer to attempt to reduce the issues to be litigated at the next hearing.” 

Mike Sanchez, a public information officer for the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, said they had no comment at this time. 

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