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Friday, December 15, 2017 - 6:22am
Humboldt County’s Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance (CMMLUO) has been in existence for almost two years. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA)  Emergency Regulations concerning cannabis cultivation have been out for almost a month. Already, the two are at odds.
 
The issue stems from how the County defines “mixed light” cultivation versus the State’s definition of the same term. Under the County’s regulations, “mixed light” includes the use of artificial lighting once cannabis plants pass the immature stage. It does not include the light deprivation technique, which deprives the plant from light to keep it from flowering. However, the State’s definition of mixed light includes light deprivation techniques. The State’s rules also separate mixed light operations into two tiers. The first tier of mixed light are those operations that use between one and six watts per square foot of cultivation area. The second tier is reserved for those operations that use between seven and twenty-five watts per square foot.
 
The apparent conflict between the CMMLUO and the State regulations are, apparently, of no concern to the State. At the Cal Cannabis Cultivation Licensing Seminar yesterday, representatives from CDFA stated that it is immaterial how the County defines “mixed light.” Rather, if your operation falls under the State’s definition of mixed light, the applicant must apply for a mixed light license with the State, no matter what the County calls it. Whether this will cause confusion at the County level remains to be seen. 
Friday, December 8, 2017 - 3:27pm
The California Fish and Game Commission unanimously voted earlier this week to close the sport abalone fishery statewide for the entirety of 2018. The decision follows several years of increased restrictions on the fishery including reduced season length, bag limits, and other measures aimed at lowering the number of abalone harvested. Despite these measures, scientific surveys show declining abalone populations along with environmental conditions adverse to the mollusks.  The State’s Abalone Recovery and Management plan, adopted in 2005, (available here) helped guide the Commission’s decision. Whether the closure will extend beyond 2018 remains to be seen.  
Friday, December 1, 2017 - 6:59am
Sex abuse and harassment are much in the news of late.  Recently, California’s Governor signed into law a bill to help sexually abused children who decide to hold perpetrators accountable.  In the past, child victims who sued for justice were subjected to overly long psychological examinations by defense teams.  As a result of Senator Beall’s SB 755 legislation, the new law limits the time that sexually abused children under the age of 15 must submit to such traumatic examinations. 
 
Janssen Malloy LLP prosecutes cases on behalf of child sex abuse victims.  We are pleased to see that the California legislature and the Governor recognized the problem and moved to protect child victims.
 
If you feel that you or a loved one have suffered abuse or that your rights have been violated, please contact us for a free consultation.
 
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 8:41am
Generally when people think about civil litigation - lawsuits - they think about suing some known or at least identifiable individual or entity. The paradigmatic example would be a motor vehicle accident in which John Smith runs a red light, hitting your vehicle, causing you property damage and injuring you. Perhaps, in that scenario, your attorney might file suit against John Smith and in preparing the case for trial learn that John Smith shares blame with the City for maintaining a dangerous intersection where the timing of the traffic lights is off, causing motor vehicle accidents. The attorney would in this scenario then add the City in as a defendant in the suit. However, a more interesting case arises in which the wrongdoer is not immediately apparent and traditional means of investigation do not bear fruit. 
 
Consider a situation in which a corporation learns that its credit card points have been transferred without its consent. These points actually have a significant cash equivalent value, but there is no mechanism for determining how the points were transferred, by whom, and to what destination account. The credit card company is not cooperating with the company in providing that information. Law enforcement is not interested in investigating what strikes them as bizarre, and a civil rather than criminal matter.  The corporation could file a complaint and summons for the tort (civil wrong) of conversion against John or Jane Doe. This opens up the possibility for the corporation to then use the tools in the civil litigator’s toolbox to find out the details surrounding the wrongful theft of those points. Here, the corporation can find out who is responsible for this theft by issuing a subpoena duces tecum on the credit card company.
 
Janssen Malloy LLP has occasionally used this technique to help clients obtain needed information that would have remained unreachable but for the opportunities created by filing a civil suit against John or Jane Doe.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 7:02am
Last week I wrote about trespassing neighbors, whose activities, structures, commercial activity, or personal property encroach onto your property. This week I am covering what happens when a neighbor - either negligently or intentionally - crosses onto another landowner’s property and cuts down a tree or trees. California, like many other states, see this as a particularly offensive civil wrong, and therefore has enacted a particular statute that sets forth how the wrong may be punished.
 
Civil Code section 3346 prohibits negligent or willful trespass onto the property of another for the purpose of cutting down trees, damaging trees, or taking timber. The judge or jury hearing such a case is permitted to consider not only the fair market value of any merchantable timber, but also the lost aesthetic value and functionality (such as providing shade) of a fallen or injured tree. Double damages, meaning twice the value of the tree or trees, are to be awarded when the defendant acted negligently. If the tree or timber owner can establish that the defendant’s conduct was willful or malicious, the plaintiff is entitled to treble damages.
 
Believe it or not, being situated behind the Redwood Curtain, Janssen Malloy LLP's attorneys not only have experience litigating timber trespass cases, but even have represented plaintiffs bringing such claims and in other cases have defended individuals who have mistakenly cut down their neighbors’ tree. In addition to the threat of double and treble damages, these cases can involve interesting issues of expert arborist or forester testimony, and especially in residential cases, high levels of emotion. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation if you have been involved in a timber trespass.