Judge Busch to issue preliminary injunction against
A victorious Deputy City Attorney Machaela Hoctor emerges from
a packed court room, jubilant over San Francisco Superior Court
Judge Peter Busch' issuance
of a preliminary injunction against the notorious gang affiliated
By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service
November 22, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A San Francisco Superior Court judge
said today he will issue a preliminary injunction restricting
the actions of members of an alleged gang known as the Oakdale
Mob in a four-block area of the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.
The injunction to be issued by Judge Peter Busch will bar more
than 20 alleged members of the gang identified by city lawyers
from associating with one another, committing crimes or carrying
out so-called "nuisance'' activities in the area.
It will continue a temporary restraining order Busch granted
on Oct. 30 in a civil lawsuit filed by the office of City Attorney
Dennis Herrera under a state law prohibiting public nuisances.
Busch said at the close of a hearing that the injunction will
also bar the identified individuals from loitering in the four-block
area, which is near Oakdale public housing complex, between midnight
and 5:30 a.m.
Herrera said after the hearing, "Today's ruling is a victory
for a community that deserves to live in safety and peace, free
from the constant threat of gang violence.''
City lawyers contend the gang's alleged criminal conduct, including
murders, drug dealing, shootings, carjackings, robberies and assaults,
as well as its intimidation of community residents and blocking
of the streets amounted to "a severe public nuisance'' under
the state law.
Deputy City Attorney Machaela Hoctor argued during the hearing,
"The civil rights of the community are paramount to the rights
of gang members."
Damone Hale, a lawyer for Shanteak Harris of Pleasanton, one
of 22 alleged gang members identified by Herrera's office, said
after the hearing that no decision had been made on whether to
He said his client contends the injunction is unnecessary and
that community members were not consulted about it.
The attorney added, "This is just a preliminary stage''
and said he will begin gathering evidence for the next stage of
the case, which will be a full trial on the city attorney's request
for a permanent injunction.
Attorney Damone Hale
Hale said he expects a trial within a year.
Busch said he would issue the preliminary injunction sometime
after receiving proposed wording from both sides on Tuesday. Until
then, the temporary restraining order will remain in effect.
The preliminary injunction will last until the not-yet-scheduled
trial is held.
The use of a civil injunction against gang members under the
nuisance law was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 1997.
City attorney's office spokesman Matt Dorsey said that while
the procedure has been used in several Southern California cases,
this case marks the first time a preliminary injunction has been
issued in San Francisco.
The order will apply for the time being to the 22 people identified
by city lawyers, but Busch said the injunction will include provisions
for adding or deleting names if evidence is provided.
The ban on association among gang members allows exceptions for
school and church activities. Busch said that when he issues the
written injunction, he will decide whether to include additional
Other elements of the preliminary injunction will include bans
on drug dealing and possession, gun possession, loitering with
the intent to sell drugs, defacing property with graffiti, intimidating
witnesses and trespassing on property not open to the general
public, which includes the Oakdale housing complex.
The injunction can be enforced through either civil contempt
of court, with jail sentences of up to five days, or through prosecution
for a criminal misdemeanor, with jail sentences of up to six months.
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