The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California and the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP filed a lawsuit charging that the Orange County Board of Supervisors violates California's landmark Brown Act as well as the U.S. Constitution and California Constitution for deploying Rules of Procedures that "actively attempted to silence the people, stifle debate, and shield its members from criticism by erecting barriers to the people's participation in board meetings."

Examples include:

  • Arbitrarily setting time limits and restricting public comments (unless complementary to the Board)
  • Counting toward a person's public comment time allotment interruptions made by board of supervisors.
  • Requiring members of the public must ask permission to address individual supervisors.
  • Moving the public comment section of meetings to make it as inconvenient as possible for potential speakers.

In addition to the Board's actions at meetings, the suit charges that supervisors unlawfully refuse to produce public records and have re-categorized records in such a way that gives the Board license to destroy them.

Case developments

April 9, 2019
ACLU SoCal and Kirkland & Ellis LLP filed the complaint in the Superior Court of California. Read the complaint.


David I. Horowitz, Kirkland & Ellis LLP; Zachary W. Byer, Kirkland & Ellis LLP;Peter J. Eliasberg, ACLU SoCal; Brendan Hamme, ACLU SoCal

Date filed

April 9, 2019


Superior Court of California, County of Orange


The honorable Sheila Fell



Case number