Procedural Posture

Petitioner city of Los Angeles sought to restrain Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles (California) from enforcing a preliminary injunction or taking further action in respondent taxpayer’s suit to enjoin certification of a referendum election.

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Overview

The city of Los Angeles sought to restrain the superior court from enforcing a preliminary injunction or taking further action in a taxpayer’s suit to enjoin certification of a referendum election. The court determined that none of the parties attacking the contract had pointed to any evidence, which would have presented a substantial question of fact that constituted a material issue. It was contended that the city did not have the power to sell to a private corporation land held by the city subject to a public purposes restriction imposed by the grantor’s deed to the city and that the city had no power to enter into an agreement with a private corporation obligating the city to extinguish such a restriction. The court determined that the city’s promise to use its best efforts to have the deed restriction removed could not be said to constitute an illegal agreement binding the city council to exercise its judgment in the future. The court found no merit in the claim that the city had attempted to make an illegal delegation to a private corporation of the duties of the city council.

Outcome

The court granted the writ of prohibition.