On November 8, 2013, LA Superior Court Judge, Alan Rosenfield, entered a Judgement in Case #LAM-13M00544, ordering the City of Los Angeles (Public Entity) pay the Plaintiff (#OLA292 arrestee & filmmaker, Melissa Balin) $250 for damages to Balin's personal property incurred by the City of Los Angeles at LA City Hall on November 30 & December 1, 2011 in the raid against the peaceful protesters of Occupy LA. Balin's original claim was for the amount of $9,887.82 for "destruction of domicile, personal damages, and destruction of original art".
We are not sure how the Judge came to his ruling or the dollar figure to be awarded, but ANY amount awarded the Plaintiff, no matter how small, is #WINNING for Occupy! While it may be a figurative slap in the face to compensatory justice, on an injunctive level, the ruling would indicate that the City of LA, was indeed guilty of the claims alleged and this ruling alone should warrant further investigation into Monell violations most unbecoming.
Here is some important intel that we did learn from the tiny little "David versus Goliath" small claims trial in Departnment 31 finally held on November 7 & 8, 2013 (filed by Balin in January and continued twice by the City of LA, taken under submission April 30, and continued and transferred again over the plaintiff's objections) at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse:
#1: Lieutenant Brian Morrison #30789 of the LAPD testified that he began tactical planning of the removal of the peaceful protesters as early as NOVEMBER 3, 2011, when he traveled with others to Oakland for a tactical consultation with various City Officials regarding unforseen issues in their preceding eviction of peaceful protesters. [This would indicate a premeditation and collusion on the part of City Officials to violate the constitutional rights of peaceful protesters under the Color of Law.]
#2: Sergeant Oppepelt of the LAPD testified that he was one of the officers who stepped in feces on the scene November 30, 2011. He was unable to recall exactly where he stepped in feces, nor was he able to confirm if the feces was human or animal, nor was he able to deny that it could have been the feces of LAPD officers- at which point, the Judge admonished everyone for decorum as such accusations were unbecoming. It was duly noted by all parties, that it was equally offensive to Balin for it to be implied that the feces belonged to Occupiers, when in fact, no specimens were saved to support the fictional allegations of a public health hazard.
#3: NO feces was found in the #SovereignTreeHouse area aka "The Sovereign Nation of Freedom & Peace" that the LAPD called "Sector 1" because it was on lock-down for the "extraction" of the peaceful protesters in the tree until after 4 AM. It was noted for the record (as submitted evidence from the LA Times) that LAPD exercised "Lethal Force" in the "extraction" under lackluster investigation by Internal Affairs.
#3: LAPD Property Officers Iksoo Kim and Eduardo Gonzales testified that only 75 items were salvaged from the November 30th tactical mission and that 29 of those items remained unclaimed and were destroyed after 90 days. That list of various and sundry items included a bike, a camera, a hammer, and a skateboard. The officers testified that the original plan was to salvage and tag items of value on site, but within an hour, the plan was modified due to the supposed declaration of a health hazard by HazMat.
#4: Through questioning and clarification of witness testimony, it was discovered by all parties that HAZMAT WAS NOT EVEN ON THE SCENE AT THE TIME OF THE ALLEGED HAZMAT DECLARATION. Lieutenant Morrison clarified that the men in white coveralls in the photos of the LA Times, were actually undercover detectives wearing gun holsters and many photographed were not even wearing their protective masks during an alleged health hazard. At this point, "I don't recall" became the standard answer and our shadowy glimpse into the dark underworld ended as the curtain draped close and Judge Rosenfield said, "I think I've heard all I need to on this case, you've brought up some interesting points Ms. Balin"...
These should be interesting points to raise in the recently certified and upcoming civil class action Federal lawsuit for the 292 cases of false arrests, unlawful imprisonments, and malicious prosecutions levied by the City of Los Angeles against its peaceful citizens known as the Occupy LA International & Intentional Tort. #StayTuned & #StayOccupied!