Posted: Oct 23, 2009
Nude sunbathers at San Onofre State Beach may have to cover up now that the state's highest court has refused to hear a case brought by a local nudist group.
"This is a tremendous setback?" officials of The Naturist Action Committee and Friends of San Onofre Beach said in a written statement this afternoon. "But the battle has not ended."
It seems, however, that the struggle may be coming to a close.
The latest twist comes after more than a year of legal wrangling between a group of nudists who want to keep a portion of San Onofre State Beach clothing-optional and park officials who issued a crack down on nudity.
It's unclear what the nudist group's next step will be after the California Supreme Court decided against hearing the group's latest petition.
Allen Baylis, a Huntington Beach attorney who led the fight against the nudity ban said he was disappointed to hear the news.
?The thing about it is that the parks department has the legal authority to either designate clothing-optional areas or prosecute people who want to enjoy clothing-optional recreation ? and they feel the public is best served by prosecuting naturists rather than accommodating them,? Baylis said.
Richard Haydon, superintendant for San Onofre State Beach, said he was happy to hear the news today.
Haydon said the department's philosophy all along has been to educate the public and seek voluntary compliance from nude sunbathers.
"With them not hearing the appeal that kind of gives notice to the public that the educational period will be winding down and we will be moving toward a normal law enforcement operation down in San Onofre," Haydon said.
While rangers have full discretion to cite nude sunbathers, Haydon said the philosophy is to first seek voluntary compliance.
The latest appeal from the nudist group came after the California state Court of Appeal in June ruled in favor of theCalifornia Department of Parks and Recreation.
The ruling favored state officials, who last spring decided to crack down on a more than 20-year tradition of nude sunbathing at the 1,000-foot stretch of beach known as Trail 6.
The panel ruled that a policy that allowed nudity at state beaches ? the Cahill Policy ? is invalid because they said it didn't go through the proper procedures before it was adopted years ago.
Their decision overturned anOrange County Superior Court judge ruling that the Cahill Policy is indeed a regulation and that state Department of Parks and Recreation violated procedure when they adopted a nudity ban without first seeking public feedback.
The obliteration of the Cahill Policy essentially means that park rangers no longer need to receive a private citizen complaint before citing someone for nudity at any state beach up and down the California coastline.
Even with the new state-wide ramifications, department officials have said they have no intent of doing proactive enforcement at other traditionally nudist state beaches along the coastline.
Posted: Oct 23, 2009
Supreme Court Denies Review of Nude Sunbathing Ruling
By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer
The California Supreme Court has left standing a Fourth District Court of Appeal ruling rejecting a challenge to the state?s policy preventing nude sunbathing at a beach in San Diego County.
The high court on Wednesday declined to review or depublish the appellate court?s ruling that a former policy effectively allowing nude sunbathing at the beach as long as other beachgoers did not complain was never adopted as a regulation, and thus did not have to be formally repealed in order for officials to crack down on the practice.
The Fourth District?s Div. Three in June overturned a writ of mandate that had directed the California State Department of Parks and Recreation to reinstate its ?Cahill Policy? pending formal adoption of the department?s plan to begin strict enforcement of its anti-nudity policy in all units of the state park system.
Russell W. Cahill was the director of the department when, in 1979, he sent out an internal memorandum setting forth guidelines for enforcement of the anti-nudity regulation, California Code of Regulations Sec. 4322. Cahill said that proponents had, at public meetings, set forth a strong argument that ?a few miles of beach? should be set aside as clothing-optional, but ?the public is extremely polarized on this issue.?
The solution, Cahill said, was that ?enforcement of nude sunbathing regulations within the State Park System shall be made only upon the complaint of a private citizen? and that no one should be cited or arrested for violating Sec. 4322 unless efforts to obtain voluntary compliance were unavailing.
The department, however, announced last year that it was repealing the Cahill policy with respect to San Onofre State Beach, which includes a small area, Trail 6, where nude sunbathing has gone on for years. The department said that nearby population growth had increased the number of beachgoers, and there had been complaints regarding nudity, lewd conduct, and sexual harassment of department employees, and that as a result, it would begin strict enforcement of Sec. 4322 after Labor Day.
Before then, however, the Naturist Action Committee and others filed their mandate petition, claiming the department was prohibited by the Administrative Procedures Act from repealing the Cahill policy without giving the public formal notice and an opportunity to comment.
Orange Superior Court Judge Sheila Fell agreed and issued the writ, and Justice William Rylaarsdam wrote on appeal that the trial judge was correct that the Cahill policy meets the APA definition of a regulation.
However, he said the writ should not have been issued because the policy was never lawfully adopted, insofar as the department did not send notice of the policy to the public, provide an opportunity for public comment or file underlying materials with the Office of Administrative Law, all of which the APA requires.
The case is Naturist Action Committee v. California State Department of Parks and Recreation (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 1244.
In other conference action, the justices:
?Declined a request by Marina Del Rey attorney Daniel D. Dydzak to dismiss or stay proceedings by the Review Department of the State Bar Court related to a 2008 order by the court recommending disbarment for alleged misconduct.
Dydzak told the MetNews that the disciplinary proceedings against him are political in nature, and were brought by former State Bar Chief Trial Counsel Scott J. Drexel in retaliation for Dydzak?s representation of a client who accused former State Bar President Alan Rothenberg of misappropriating Hollywood memorabilia.
He brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleging bias on the part of the State Bar and others involved with the disciplinary proceedings, but Judge Virginia A. Phillips dismissed the action. Dydzak filed the request with the California Supreme Court pending resolution of an appeal of the dismissal to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Oral argument on the disciplinary proceeding was scheduled Wednesday before the Review Department, but Dydzak said he did not attend because he contests the department?s jurisdiction over him due to alleged bias. A spokesperson for the State Bar said that the case was submitted on briefs, and that the department has 90 days to issue a ruling.
Dydzak was previously suspended for misconduct in 1998 and again in 2004 for unauthorized practice of law during the first suspension. He was also publicly reproved in 2002 over his use of a profanity in the courtroom of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Murphy after a hearing.
?Denied review of a ruling by the Sixth District Court of Appeal reviving a lawsuit by a film industry group against a high-end consumer electronics company for allegedly abusing its license to use a proprietary encryption method that secures the millions of standard-definition DVDs sold worldwide.
The appellate court held in DVD Copy Control Association, Inc. v. Kaleidescape, Inc. (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 697 that a licensing agreement between electronics company Kaleidescape Inc. and DVD Copy Control Association Inc. required the company to comply with design specifications set forth by the industry group after the contract had been executed.
?Left standing a ruling by Div. Eight of this district?s Court of Appeal in Williams v. Southern California Gas Company (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 591 that a utility company?s awareness that a wall furnace was permitting potentially lethal levels of carbon monoxide to seep into the living quarters of a Paramount home did not impose a duty on the utility to take action to remove the occupants from harm.
?Denied review and granted a request to depublish an opinion by Div. Seven of this district?s Court of Appeal in Diaz v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, B206259, where the appellate court held that instructional error on the principle of res ipsa loquitur required a new trial on liability in the case of an elderly woman who was injured in a 2005 bus accident in Panorama City.
Posted: Oct 24, 2009
Cover up, California tells nudists
SAN FRANCISCO: Nude sunbathers in California have been asked to cover up.
Refusing to hear a case brought by a local nudist group, the state's top court has upheld a ban on nudity at state beaches, including those designated as "clothing-optional."
The court denied review of a lower court ruling upholding a May 2008 decision by State parks director, Ruth Coleman, to allow officers to cite nude sunbathers on a portion of San Onofre State Beach.
Coleman's action revoked a policy announced in 1979 by then Parks director Russell Cahill, who said officers would wait until someone complained before enforcing regulations that forbid public nudity at parks and beaches.
"An officer still has the discretion to take action or not take action," he said. "He can warn them, have them put their clothes on and if there's no compliance, can cite them," said a spokesman for Parks and Recreation Department.
Posted: Oct 26, 2009
|this is definitely a set back, but i got the impression from the comments of the head of the State Parks system that he didn't intend to do ticketing sweeps of the beach. i felt he was just pleased to have the law validated so he could call for sweeps if he felt them necessary. |
do we know facts to the contrary?
also, i feel that San Onofre was perhaps not the best place to "draw a line in the sand" so to speak. ever since our "beach mom" marianna left, there has been spotty "self-enforcement", resulting in higher "pervert sightings" which was the beginning of the end. i don't mean to disparage the attempts of those who have been carrying on in her footsteps, however, we haven't had the relationship with the life guards that we once did.
it is a sad situation, nonetheless, and we should all do what ever we can to support the efforts of those who are working tirelessly to save this traditional nudist beach.
Posted: Oct 28, 2009
|Man, I've gone from disappointed to just a little pissed off about this. If the place is traditionally nude and there are (were?) signs, I just don't see how this is an issue. All it can do is bring MORE people to the beach, and therefore more revenue and tourism.|
It is my hope that San Onofre will continue on in a Playalinda-style pretty-much-accepted fashion, just a change in written law.
Posted: Oct 31, 2009
|yes, that's what we're all hoping for. realistically, though, the Cahill policy was all we had going for us. it was not posted "nude" -ever, and in fact, there was a constant reminder that we were considered interlopers with a sign at the entry gate, posted "No Nudity in the State Parks".|
nudity on state property will always be a dicey issue, depending on the powers that be at the moment. Bates, and Summerland, both in Santa Barbara, have been lost more than once, on the complaint of a single old lady. go figure...
Posted: Oct 31, 2009
|You know...that sign..."No Nudity in State Parks," wasn't always there. As a matter of fact...it's only been up in the last 1-2 years. Supposedly to give the Rangers some leverage with possibily handing out tickets.|
We've been keeping in contact with Allen Baylis and are members of the Friends of San Onofre Beach. I get periodic emails from him and from the group....I'll try and remember to post those here when I get them.
Posted: Oct 31, 2009
|They are going to lose revenue. Trail 6 is the busiest part of San Onofre. It was one of the best nudist beaches in the State. Although it was becoming a bit of a gay cruising spot in the last few years.|
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