Los Angeles Superior Court Filings
This case, Horowitz, et al. v. County of Los Angeles, et al., was brought by John Eastman, Director of the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, Manny Klausner of the Individual Rights Foundation, and cooperating attorneys William Becker and Don Wagner, on behalf of nine religiously diverse individual citizens and taxpayers in Los Angeles County, as well as the Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Santa Monica. The complaint alleges that the County's decision to remove the cross demonstrated an unconstitutional hostility toward religion, and that the County's decision to spend tax funds to replace the seal with a new, cross-less seal is an illegal waste of taxpayer funds. On November 2, the Plaintiffs asked the Court for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent the County from dismantling the County Seal. The Court denied the request for emergency relief, and the County subsequently filed a demurrer, or motion to dismiss the case. At a hearing on February 15, 2005, Los Angeles Suprerior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey declined to dismiss the case, but he put the case on hold pending resolution of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a similar federal court action, Vasquez v. County of Los Angeles. Relatedly, the Los Angeles County Seal Initiative did not garner sufficient signatures to force the issue to a special election, so at least for now, the County has succeeded in removing an important acknowledgement of the religious missionary history of the region. Watch here for developments in the litigation as we press on.
- Download the text of the complaint. (Requires Adobe Acrobat)
- Plaintiffs' Application for Temporary Restraining Order.
- County's Opposition to TRO.
- County's Demurrer.
- Plaintiffs' Opposition to County's Demurrer.
- County's Reply in support of Demurrer.
- Judge Mackey's Ruling on the Demurrer.
Federal Court Filings in Vasquez v. County of Los Angeles
The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center filed a case in federal court on behalf of a Los Angeles County employee, contending that the decision to remove the cross infringed his constitutional rights. Judge Otero dismissed the case, and an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is now pending.
- Application for Temporary Restraining Order
- Plaintiff's Memo in Support of TRO
- County's Opposition to TRO
- Court Order Denying TRO
- County's Motion to Dismiss
- Dismissal Order.
- Vasquez Ninth Circuit Opening Brief.
- "Cross removal prompts suit", Los Angeles Daily News (September 29, 2004)
- "Supporters of cross on seal take fight to court", The Daily Breeze (September 30, 2004)
- "L.A. County Supervisors sued over vote to delete cross from county seal", San Jose Mercury-News (Registration required) (September 30, 2004)
- "Change in county seal results in lawsuit", Antelope Valley Press (October 1, 2004)