Settlement to give disabled persons better access to San Bernardino County courts

A proposed settlement has been reached in a 2006 federal class-action lawsuit filed against San Bernardino County and its courts over accessibility for disabled persons at more than a dozen courthouses.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Riverside, claimed that parking, paths of travel, courtrooms, bathrooms and other areas were inaccessible to people with mobility or manual dexterity disabilities.

Lawyers for the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles, which represented plaintiffs in the case, said Tuesday that both sides worked hard to reach what they described as a model settlement that could be a blueprint for any court system in any county.
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Fontana teachers go to court to get counselors brought back

By Jim Steinberg Staff Writer
Posted: 11/05/2011 09:23:21 PM PDT

FONTANA – The teachers union has filed a lawsuit against the school district seeking to reinstate laid-off counselors on the basis of seniority.

The legal action, filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court, contends that the Fontana Unified School District’s practices violate the California Education Code, a charge the district denies.

Pat Mazzulli, president of the Fontana Teachers Association, said the district created new job categories after it laid off 68 counselors at the end of the 2010-11 school year.
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Judge declines to bar Grand Jury transcripts in San Bernardino County corruption case

Mike Cruz and Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 10/24/2011 02:55:29 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO — A Superior Court judge on Monday declined to bar more than 2,000 pages of Grand Jury transcripts in a criminal corruption probe from being used in a civil case involving the county and three other public entities.

Attorneys representing the county filed a motion with the court in September attempting to block the defendants in an indemnity lawsuit from using the transcripts in its defense. The county sued San Bernardino Associated Governments (SanBag), Caltrans and the city of Upland in 2004, seeking to recover any damages that could arise from a separate land rights lawsuit it was engaged in with Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners LP.

The developer sued the county in 2002, arguing the county abandoned its flood control easements and refused to pay for flood control improvements on its 434-acre residential and commercial development in Upland. The county settled with the developer in November 2006 for $102 million, a settlement prosecutors now say was tainted by bribery and conflict of interest.
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Conspiracy target wants county probation report corrected

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/25/2008 09:58:45 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – The victim of a murder conspiracy involving two San Manuel tribal members has filed a complaint with the county Probation Department, claiming a probation officer erroneously noted in reports that he was a gang member.

Highland attorney Frank Peterson filed the complaint Monday on behalf of Leonard Epps, who has sued San Manuel tribal members Stacy Barajas-Nunez, 26, her brother Erik Barajas, 36, and several others involved in a conspiracy to kill him. He is seeking $50 million in damages.

Epps, the former manager of the now closed Brass Key bar in Highland, alleges in the one-page complaint that information included in Probation Officer Jeremy Smith’s reports, which indicate Epps is a gang member, is inaccurate.
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Lawsuit planned over slashing of kangaroo rat habitat

By Lauren McSherry, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 11/14/2008 12:04:53 AM PST

Three environmental groups have announced they intend to sue a federal agency for slashing critical habitat protection for the endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat.

“The whole point of critical habitat is to recover the species to viable population levels,” said Ileene Anderson, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “We just felt it’s an outrage that the Bush administration would make these substantial cuts that have no basis in science.”

The Center for Biological Diversity, the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society and Friends of the Northern San Jacinto Valley sent a letter notifying the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday that they intend to file the lawsuit.
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