Stab Magazine | Legal Efforts To Open Lunada Bay Faces Setback

'Vacation Presented By Monster Energy' Drops 5pm on Thurs, March 30 (PT)


Legal Efforts To Open Lunada Bay Faces Setback

US District Court Judge dismisses suit against City of Palos Verdes for complicity in Bay Boys’ harassment of outsiders

news // Feb 17, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In a minor setback to legal efforts to open Lunada Bay to the public, on Monday, February 12th, US District Court Judge James Otero dismissed the federal suit against the city of Palos Verdes Estates.

Otero stated that the plaintiffs had not provided sufficient evidence that the city was complicit in acts of discrimination against non-resident surfers.

This ruling comes as no real surprise, legal standards of proof extend far beyond a mere, “It’s totally obvious that they’re cool with it.”

Furthermore, previous actions taken by the Palos Verdes Estates police, however half-hearted, were deemed sufficiently ardent to reject claims of complicity.

“Indeed, the record is replete with facts that demonstrate the city has been on notice of this harassment for years, and that some harassment continues to occur, ” Otero’s decision reads. “The record also clearly reflects, however, that the city did implement some measures in an attempt to deter harassment, even if those measures were not as effective or as strong as nonresidents would have liked. A city’s failure to effectively address certain crimes does not mean it is complicit in those crimes, and any evidence that would support the latter is either extremely weak or nonexistent.”


The plaintiff’s attorneys, Vic Otten of Torrance and Kurt Franklin, plan to appeal the decision.

“Trial courts make errors, that’s why we have appellate courts, and I’m respectful of Judge Otero, but it doesn’t mean I agree with him,” said Franklin. “There’s been no ruling in terms of the substance of the case as to the individuals and there’s been no ruling on the Coastal Act issues that are important to this case and the people of California. We’re in this case for the long haul.”

Otero’s decision, should it be upheld, would also effectively end the federal lawsuit seeking to classify the “Bay Boys” as a gang.

However it does not end the defendants potential liability as Otero ruled that those lawsuits, which have already been filed, belong in state court.

Pat Carey, attorney for ‘Jahlian” Johnston, a pseudo-hippie best known for incorporating garbage and clothing, attempted to paint his client as the victim of false charges.

“Over the last two years, he’s bore a lot of personal expenses to defend against the lawsuit, he’s taken out time from his travel to fly home internationally to appear at required court obligations,” Carey said. “He’s still frustrated that he’s had to go through that and he’s maintained his innocence through this process. He’s kind of been dragged through the mud, so he’s frustrated in that respect.”

A pragmatic person might point out that this is exactly the point of the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs have repeatedly stated that their suit is not about money, but opening Lunada Bay to nonresidents. High legal fees alone may prove enough to convince the “Bay Boys” of the error of their ways. While the recent ruling may feel like a victory to those charged, the reality is they will be paying their lawyers for quite a while longer.



Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent


Why You Should Never Not Paddle Out

How an impromptu 30 minute session made a Jamaican surfer $1,000 richer.

Mar 30, 2023


“I’ve Had Two Concussions Surfing Here”

Chronicles of a Newport shore-hound.

Mar 29, 2023

Rio Waida Has Been Surfing Onshore, Oversized Bells Alone

...and he might not go home all year.

Mar 29, 2023


John Florence Releases Long-Form Piece On The 243km Great Ocean Squiggle

Tourism Victoria going, ‘he just did our job for us’.

Mar 29, 2023


Japanese Rice Farmer Enjoys Frightening Sumatran West Bowls

Kaito Ohashi is on his best behavior.

Mar 28, 2023

Watch: When People Like This Speak, We Listen

Raw, extended conversations with Clyde Aikau and Eddie Aikau winner Luke Shepardson.

Mar 28, 2023


Diamond Tail = Diamond Hands?

We'll explain everything in the Rusty D-Min Joyride.

Mar 27, 2023

Behold Australia’s Nine & NZ’s Two Challenger Series Qualifiers*

May the Southern Cross smile upon you at Snapper.

Mar 27, 2023

An Unordinary Life Structured Around A Tidal Bore

Long Read: The life and times of Pete Beachy.

Mar 26, 2023


Watch: ‘Haiku’

Scenes From a Remote Reality, by Vans & Karina Rozunko

Mar 25, 2023

Sun Room: The Overnight Success Of A Young Surf Band

What's it like touring the world and living off of McDonald's?

Mar 25, 2023

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 6

An instructional manual for the modern professional surfer

Mar 23, 2023


Caity Simmers — Extreme Competitive Surf Vlogger

Cool is chemical.

Mar 23, 2023

Globe Pulls Out Of The Apparel Game

…and, Taj Burrow and Dion Agius are now looking for new main sponsors.

Mar 22, 2023

Owen Wright Announces Retirement From Competitive And Heavy-Water Surfing

But will surf final CT event at Bells.

Mar 22, 2023


Fancy An Ale, Some Good Music, And A Bunch Of Tubes?

Ballet's minimalist full-length will satiate your needs.

Mar 22, 2023

João Chianca Spent Seven Years On The QS Without A Sponsor

And look where he is now.

Mar 22, 2023

Take Stab’s 2023 Audience Survey, Win A 3-Board Quiver

Stab towels and Premium subscriptions also up or grabs.

Mar 21, 2023