Dhillon Law Group is proud to have obtained a settlement on behalf of our clients, Brad Malamud, Chanel Fetty, and Anthony Rubolino, concerning their federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of San Clemente, which alleged violations of citizens’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to free speech and due process, as well as California’s open-meeting and public records laws.
The lawsuit concerned an April 16, 2019 City Council meeting, at which the City unilaterally adopted a new, unwritten speech restriction arbitrarily limiting the public’s ability to speak to a single, three-minute period — despite the City’s long-standing practice of allowing members of the public opportunities to speak a total of two times at City Council meetings. Each of the plaintiffs were in attendance at the City Council meeting and were affected by the new policy.
In the public settlement, the City agreed to adopt amended policies to protect citizens’ First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights by modifying its procedures regarding protocols that must be followed before the City may lawfully remove someone from council chambers, as well as revising procedures concerning retention of documents. The City also agreed to pay Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees. Congratulations to our clients on their courage, grit, and perseverance in this fight.