Bail lawsuit faces hearing next week 

City of Santa Clarita Mayor Jason Gibbs speaks during the Fentanyl Town Hall Meeting held at the Canyon Country Community Center in Canyon Country on Thursday, 011223. Dan Watson/The Signal

A group of cities suing to stop Los Angeles County Superior Court’s emergency bail policy is scheduled to make their case in Orange County next week, according to an attorney who represents a number of cities, including the lead plaintiff. 

A group of cities are suing to end the emergency bail system, which eliminated cash bail for nearly all crimes with bail less than $50,000. The system was first introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic and then brought back Oct. 1.  

“There is a hearing set for Dec. 11 at 1:30 p.m. to consider both the cities’ motion for preliminary injunction and the defendants’ demurrer,” said Kimberly Hall Barlow, a partner at Jones & Mayer. Hall Barlow represents the city of Santa Clarita in the suit as well, after the City Council voted to join the effort Oct. 11. 

Hall Barlow successfully argued to have the case moved to Orange County, citing an inherent bias any L.A. County court would have in reconsidering a ruling by its presiding judge. 

Supporters of the lawsuit have cited statistical increases in the crime rate over the last two years as why bail should be reinstituted.  

Opponents like the Vera Institute of Justice argue there’s no evidence a cash-bail system forces a suspect to return to face justice. 

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