Friday, January 22, 2021

Midway Venture v. County of San Diego (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 22, 2021)

You'll be hard-pressed to find an appeal resolved on the merits as quickly as this one.

It's a high profile case -- at least down here in San Diego -- so it's perhaps not surprising that it received the attention in the Court of Appeal as it did.  Essentially, a strip club filed a lawsuit challenging various pandemic-related restrictions placed on its business, and the trial court not only granted the strip club a fair piece of relief, but then reached out and enjoined San Diego from enforcing a plethora of limitations on any restaurant or related business.  That ruling was issued . . . five weeks ago.

Restaurant owners were predictably psyched, but the County of San Diego predictably felt the opposite, and immediately filed an appeal, alongside a request for an emergency stay, which was granted by the Court of Appeal the same day it was filed.  Two days after the Notice of Appeal was filed, on its own, the Court of Appeal expedited the briefing, and set the oral argument to occur in less than a month.

The case gets argued on Tuesday, January 19 -- appellant's reply brief was filed the Friday beforehand (and Monday was a holiday) -- and here it is Friday, January 22, and boom, a 47-page opinion gets filed reversing the trial court and remanding the case back.

The ultimate result was widely anticipated; the trial court really did go out of its way to resolve issues that weren't really before it.  But the rapidity of the Court of Appeal's response was fairly unprecedented.

Speedy justice.