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The Problem

Peace officers’ professional organization brought action against city, seeking injunction requiring it to comply with statute requiring a complainant to sign advisory informing them that filing a knowingly false complaint alleging misconduct by a peace officer may result in criminal prosecution. The Superior Court, Portola County, Case No. AB12345 (Judge Diane B. Bernstein) entered judgment in organization’s favor and ordered an injunction against city. City appeals.


The appeal is pending before the Seventh Appellate District. The appeal raises the following issues:


(1)  Does the City have standing to appeal or to raise its constitutional arguments?  

(2)  Does Penal Code section 148.6, subdivision (a), particularly subdivision (a)(2), constitute improper viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment? 

(3)  Does Penal Code section 148.6, subdivision (a), particularly subdivision (a)(2), impose an impermissible burden on the ability to file, or on the City to accept, police misconduct complaints? 

(4)  Is it error to compel the City to comply with a statute that has been ruled unconstitutional by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit?  

The Record

The problem is drawn from a real case in the California courts. The issues in the actual case are closely contested, and neither side is favored for purposes of the problem. Any attempt by any person, directly or indirectly, to contact the attorneys or the parties, or to examine the real-life case file or briefs, including decisions and opinions in the case on which the problem is based is prohibited and will result in disqualification of the entire team.

Review all the rules for the competition here.

Good luck!

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