Peace through victory - the American way.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Night of the Living Dims: The City Attorney Speaks (Update)

Although the city attorney's opinion got it right with respect to state law and the invalidity of the disputed write-in votes a portion of the city attorney's analysis seems suspect. According to the article, the city attorney suggests a judge could dismiss the Frye supporters' suits under the doctrine of laches. Laches is a doctrine that permits a judge to dismiss lawsuits because the parties sat on their rights and should have raised their claims earlier. The problem with the city attorney's suggestion that laches could operate here is that state law requires that an election contest lawsuit, like the suits in this case, be filed within 30 days after the election is certified. (Elections Code section 16401.) In other words, the lawsuits could not have been brought before the election and the Frye supporters filed their lawsuits within the statutory deadline. Laches could not be used to dismiss their suits.

-tdr

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