Corina Knoll
April 30, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

Months after it unsuccessfully sought to stop the Los Angeles Times from publishing information gleaned from officers’ personnel files, a union representing Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies has been ordered to pay the newspaper more than $41,000 in legal fees.

In a final ruling issued Wednesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michelle Rosenblatt said that as the prevailing party, The Times was entitled to recoup its cost for attorneys.

“Hopefully this will help discourage other lawsuits aimed at censoring news reporting,” said Dan Laidman, one of the attorneys who represented the newspaper.

Laidman said a lawyer for the union, which was given until June 30 to pay, said it plans to appeal. Calls to that attorney were not immediately returned.

The Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs sought a restraining order against The Times in September to block the publication of details culled from 500 officers’ background screenings reviewed by a Times reporter.

The documents contained information on officers from the Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety who applied for positions with the Sheriff’s Department when the agencies merged in 2010. The union argued officers had an expectation of privacy when it came to their records and that the information had been stolen and should be returned.

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