County to settle $831K courthouse suit

By Melissa Pinion-Whitt, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 11/14/2011 12:44:44 PM PST

San Bernardino Superior Court has agreed to settle an $831,000 class-action lawsuit claiming the county’s courthouses are inaccessible to the disabled, court officials said today.

Four plaintiffs named in the federal lawsuit will split $80,000 in damages. San Bernardino County is expected to pay $690,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs, and another $61,000 to monitor the county’s progress in making courthouses accessible.

The settlement terms include plans to improve disabled access in entrances, emergency exits, witness stands, jury boxes and other areas of the courthouses.

San Bernardino County and the Superior Court officials “denied and continue to deny the allegations and claims in the actions,” according to the settlement.

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Charges ordered dismissed against Vagos member

SAN BERNARDINO – A judge dismissed criminal charges this morning against Andrew Eloy Lozano, a local member of the Vagos motorcycle club who was arrested last month in a law enforcement sweep across Southern California.

At a scheduled preliminary hearing for Lozano in San Bernardino Superior Court, Judge James Dorr ruled that prosecutors presented insufficient evidence to hold Lozano for trial on charges of possessing body armor and participating in a criminal street gang.

“The court finds there is insufficient evidence as to both counts and the allegation,” Dorr said during the proceedings.
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Judge says FBI searches in Colonies case appear just

Joe Nelson and Mike Cruz, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 11/10/2011 05:01:31 PM PST

RIVERSIDE — A federal judge seemed poised to rule that federal agents did not violate the civil rights of Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum when they served search warrants at his home and office in September.

During a two-hour hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court, Judge S. James Otero heard arguments from Burum’s attorney, Stephen G. Larson, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry A. Behnke over whether federal prosecutors should be able to retain documents and other information seized during the Sept. 15 raid.

There is no deadline or estimated amount of time for Otero to deliver a decision, lawyers said. All they can do is wait for an email alert from the court that a ruling is available.
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SB County’s top prosecutor seeks greater partnership with feds

RIVERSIDE — District Attorney Michael A. Ramos announced plans Wednesday to strengthen his office’s partnership with federal prosecutors.

Ramos told members of the Inland Empire Chapter of the Federal Bar Association that he plans to cross-designate one of his local prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Ramos revealed the plan while discussing a host of top issues affecting public safety, such as street gangs, medical marijuana and mortgage fraud, alongside Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach and U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. during a meeting at U.S. District Court in Riverside.
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Trial starts for two men in robbery, deadly beating of elderly woman

SAN BERNARDINO — Prosecutors delivered their opening remarks Monday in the trial for two young men who repeatedly struck an elderly San Bernardino woman with hammers while ransacking her home for money and other valuables.

“Storma Del’Andrae, who is 87 years old, was murdered for a handful of cash, a suitcase and some costume jewelry,” said Deputy District Attorney Tristan Svare. “That’s what this case is all about.”

The prosecution’s opening remarks came just prior to witness testimony in San Bernardino Superior Court. Defense lawyers reserved their statements for later in the trial. Each defendant has his own jury.
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