On April 5th, 2022, the LA County Board of Supervisors, over PPOA’s verbal and written objections, enacted an ordinance that, in essence, stripped the Sheriff of his disciplinary authority over his personnel who have not complied with the County’s Vaccination Policy. The ordinance was to take effect immediately, which would subject PPOA members to being issued notices of discipline, up to termination, the day after the ordinance was passed.
In order to stop the immediate implementation of this ordinance, attorneys for PPOA went to court on April 6th and filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and for an Order to Show Cause regarding a preliminary injunction. The County filed an Opposition to the TRO and the matter was heard in front of LA County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff in Department 86, on April 7th, 2022, at 8:30 AM.
During the oral argument in this matter, PPOA’s attorneys argued that the ordinance would result in imminent harm to its members since the language contained in the ordinance noted that it would be effective immediately, subjecting PPOA members to immediate discipline leading up to termination if they did not have proof of vaccination and/or a valid religious or medical exemption. Judge Beckloff indicated that if the County was indeed implementing this Policy immediately, then PPOA’s argument that there was an immediate harm to its members would be sustained and an injunction would likely be issued and be appropriate. However, upon the Judge’s questioning of counsel for the County, faced with the likely issuing of a TRO, the County on the record for the first time, revealed that it is not the intention of the County to immediately implement this ordinance and that they intend to continue to discuss the policy and procedures that would be put in place and when this ordinance will be rolled out to Sheriff personnel. The Judge took particular note of the County’s binding assertion that they would comply with the DHR COVID Vaccine Policy which provides for a written notice of non-compliance and a 45-day period of compliance followed by a series of potential discipline starting with a five-day suspension. By taking judicial note, the County is now bound by their assertions made in front of the Judge that were used to prevent the Judge from issuing a Temporary Restraining Order.
Although the TRO was not issued, PPOA accomplished stopping the immediate implementation of the ordinance. The Court encouraged all parties to meet and confer over the ordinance and advance further legal challenges if necessary. If and when the DHR policies are rolled out and our members receive the 45-day notice, the court made it clear that PPOA may immediately request an expedited date for a preliminary injunction on the implementation of the ordinance until litigation on the validity of the ordinance is determined. PPOA has secured an initial date for the preliminary injunction, which is set for Friday, July 22 an 9:30 AM. If any member receives a 45-day notice prior to the date of our preliminary injunction hearing, please contact PPOA as we will expedite the arguments to take further legal action.