I heard Tuesday a there was a blogger post; “Janelle Egger tries to serve court summons to Supervisor Rex Bohn during public comment;” at http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/10/janelle-egger-tries-to-serve-court.html
As the author, John(Chiv), was not at the meeting, here are some comments on what he wrote(followed by mine):
John Chiv : Who says Humboldt County Board of Supervisor meetings are dull? Today, during public comment, former Occupy Eureka supporter Janelle Egger tried to serve BOS Chair Supervisor Rex Bohn with a court summons!
Janelle: Yesterday my friend Pat served a summons on BOS Chair Supervisor Rex Bohn by handing it to him. On September 23 Pat had served a Petition for Writ of Mandate by delivering it to the Clerk of the Board’s office.
I was not a supporter; I was an active participant of Occupy Eureka. That is where I met Pat. Before and after the County passed the “Urgency” Ordinance she was arrested for hanging a hand painted U.S. flag on the infamous fence. We were arrested together protesting the curfew. I am proud to have been part of the Occupy movement and the Occupy Eureka vigil in support of First Amendment Rights.
John Chiv: No one was sure what her beef was and Janelle was not sure of the serving process nor was the person trying to help her. Eventually, Rex came down from the dais and received the summons so that the meeting could proceed.
Janelle: I do not know what the County thought was the problem when they wrote shortly before 5:00 last Thursday that “the service has not been properly effectuated pursuant to the provisions to the California Code of Civil Procedure.”
I thought the code section I had followed indicated the process was to serve the Petition and then file a proof of service, which I did. It seemed odd, but not sure how else to interpret this: “proof of service of a copy of the petition need not accompany the application for a writ at the time of filing, but proof of service of a copy of the filed petition must be lodged with the court prior to a hearing or any action by the court”
I spent hours trying to determine the problem. Still not sure what the problem was, mid-afternoon Friday I emailed thanking the County for the letter and asking them to share the code provisions and I would act to resolve any problem.
Over the weekend I decided the easiest thing was to simply plan on serving a summons. The code section indicating that may be the way to proceed also required that “service shall be made upon the presiding officer, or upon the secretary, or upon a majority of the members.”
As presiding officer, Rex was to be served, that seemed easier than serving a majority or arguing over whether the Clerk to the Board could be considered the secretary. Usually speakers hand their written comments to the Clerk, who hands them to the Board members. I explained to Pat this may be an issue. I was glad he decided to help out so Pat and I could go enjoy lunch.
John Chiv: Janelle had previously filed a lawsuit against the County regarding the emergency ordinance which was largely a result of Occupy Eureka protestors camping and holding everyone else hostage from using the Courthouse.
I respect John Chiv for speaking up for what he believed at the Board meetings back then, but there was no emergency. The ‘Urgency” Ordinance was the result of a failure to communicate on the part of the County. When the police and the County refused to talk, imposed new restrictions in front of the courthouse, and told us get an attorney and go to court, we arranged a meeting with the District Attorney. When he indicated there was a problem with taking our signs the Sheriff encouraged people to contact the Board, and less than three weeks later the restrictions were in the Humboldt County Code.
With Board members claiming there was no Constitutional issue with the ordinance, a court order was needed to restore our rights. The County’s response to my lawsuit, filed without an attorney, was to hire a San Francisco law firm. During a court ordered alternative resolution conference the County’s attorney refused mediation or any of the other three options, stating the County wanted a political process. After the Board appointed a committee to meet with the Human Rights Commission to review what happened and look at changes, the attorney I had hired agreed to donate her time if I paid the firm’s out of pocket costs so the lawsuit could be dismissed without prejudice, preserving my right to re-file if necessary. A couple weeks later it was decided the Board committee would not meet with the Commission, which required open meetings, they would meet with a Commission committee. I began to question private committee meetings.
John Chiv: Even TS reporter Will Houston couldn’t figure out what Janelle’s beef was but the general consensus is something to do with due process violations.
Janelle: Close. I came to get the County’s process issue resolved so that we could turn to the merits of my petition, which challenges the use of County committees to discuss and deliberate in private meetings.
John Chiv: Rex took the summons, did not read it because it was not properly served. Janelle’s concerns are important to him and he wanted her to feel heard.
Janelle: On July 1st I emailed Rex Bohn the letter with my concerns. The Board was cc’d the County’s July 23rd response to that letter and my Petition was served at the Clerk of the Board’s office on September 23. If my concerns are important to him that is news to me.
Instead of filing a response to the Petition, it was decided the County would respond with a letter raising process issues. If there was a Closed Session re my demand letter or the Petition, I must not have seen the agenda. So I don’t know who or how that decision was made, although I imagine they are using a method involving one-way communications and “silence gives consent.”
John Chiv: I was wearing my Rex for Supervisor sweatshirt today. I joked with Rex that had I been in the BOS chambers instead of Courtroom 5 this morning, maybe I could served him the papers correctly!
Janelle: Oh, you know CCP § 1188.5 and § 1107? If I had only known, you could have served him at a more convenient time.
But seriously, this isn’t about if I “feel heard;” it is about transparency and access to the meetings of County committees.
This link is to the two minutes at the meeting John is referring to: