September 7, 2016

Pine Meadows Golf Course Development Flap: Developer's Lawsuit Thrown Out

Photo Credit:  Unknown
If you've followed the sometimes goofier-than-fiction flap related to the proposed residential development of the former Pine Meadows Golf Course in nearby Martinez, California, here's the latest development.  (I've followed this regional issue, but have no opinion on the matter.)

Some months ago, the Developer and one of the former Golf Course owners sued development opponents for statements made about the development.  As was no surprise to me, a judge has thrown out the lawsuit, classifying the opponents' statements as protected speech about a public issue.

Duh.

I gotta laugh at a quote from the Developer's losing attorney in a local newspaper article about the suit's dismissal:
“We disagree strongly with the court’s decision,” Dana Tsubota, an attorney for DeNova Homes, said in an email Tuesday. “As Americans, we strongly defend an individual’s right to express their opinions on issues, but stretching the truth and telling boldfaced lies to the public, as Mr. Platt has done, is never right or ethical under any circumstances.” 
Dana, you may not think the behavior was right.  You may not think it was ethical.  But that certainly does not mean the behavior was illegal.

Duh again.

But it is a sad nod to the state of politics when the judge's ruling mentions that "The courts have noted that misrepresentations are ‘condoned’ in the political arena."

One of the many reasons so many people are uninterested in civic and political issues.  Can't say I blame them.

Update:  After posting, I was able to obtain a copy of the court order dismissing the suit.  The judge did award attorney fees to the defendants.  So the Developer and former Golf Course owner are responsible for the defendant's (or defendants') attorney fees.

Mary Rae Fouts

8 comments:

  1. Are homes still going to be built on the site?

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    1. The Developer withdrew the first project and I - believe - has a 2nd project pending with city staff now. That's my immediate recollection; check with the City of Martinez for specifics.

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  2. Sure have been a lot of golf courses closing in the SF Bay area over the past couple years.

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    1. Yes, and Roddy Ranch golf course in Anticoch, CA also either just closed or will be closing soon.

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  3. I guess that attorney had not heard about California's anti-SLAPP law?

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  4. Did defendants get attorney fees awarded?

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    1. I got a copy of the dismissal order and just updated the original post to state that yes, the judge awarded payment of defendant's (or defendants') attorney fees by plaintiffs. The judge clearly was pissed at the conduct of the plaintiffs' attorneys during this case.

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Thanks for sharing your comments here! Mary Rae Fouts