Scales of Justice

By Jean Merl
October 16, 2013, 3:51 p.m.

A divided California Court of Appeal has cleared the way for the city of Palmdale to hold its Nov. 5 City Council election, which a trial court had canceled late last month.

Two of the three justices of the 2nd District Court of Appeal in effect overruled the election-barring preliminary injunction issued Sept. 30 by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark V. Mooney.

Mooney’s injunction said the city was enjoined from holding an at-large election, counting the ballots or certifying the result. If Mooney had meant to stop the election, he should have written and, according to the order signed Tuesday by Presiding Justice Paul J. Turner and Associate Justice Richard M. Mosk.

The ruling left the certification issue in the appellate court’s hands.

Associate Justice Sandy R. Kriegler disagreed with his colleagues’ interpretation that the preliminary injunction did not halt the election.

“The text of the written order plainly enjoins all aspects of the election — voting, tabulation and certification,” Kriegler wrote.

Technically, the appellate court rejected Palmdale’s request to overturn the trial court’s injunction. But, due to the wording, the city got what it wanted anyway — permission to hold the election.

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