Vol. 23 No. 4- L. A. Times v. Post – change in procedure

February 05, 2008

On February 4, 2008, we published a client alert memo based upon information contained in a memorandum issued by Paul Cappitelli, the Executive Director of POST. The POST memorandum directed agencies to notify POST “if an agency seeks to exclude names from the report, POST should be notified of the names of those officers the agency wishes to protect. POST will redact those names from the report….”

Earlier today I spoke with POST’s legal counsel, Michael E. Whitaker supervising deputy attorney general who informed me that POST would not withhold names of any officers unless it first received a court order directing it to do so. Mr. Whitaker informed me that each law enforcement agency must file a motion to intervene with the Sacramento court and present arguments to justify the withholding of any officer’s names. Such a motion must be filed and a court order secured prior to February 15, 2008 or POST will release the entire list of names from each agency to the media.

No where in the memorandum from Mr. Cappitelli is there any reference to the requirement that each agency must proceed in this fashion. In conversations with Mr. Whitaker and Dick Reed, I urged that POST request an extension of time from the court for agencies to file such motions.

I have been informed that contact has been made with the court informing it of the possibility that hundreds of such motions could be filed. We anticipate hearing from the court tomorrow regarding how we should proceed.


It may be necessary for each law enforcement agencies legal counsel to prepare a motion to intervene along with arguments to justify the withholding of the names of those officers who need anonymity. Obviously we need to wait to hear from the court before taking such action.

More than ever, it is imperative that you immediately confer with your agency’s legal adviser.

If you wish to discuss this in greater detail, feel free to contact me at 714- 446-1400 or by email atmjm@jones-mayer.com.