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Court denies city's appeal on charter

Ruling means there is no way the city's proposed constitution can go before voters in June.

April 02, 2012|From staff reports

An appellate court on Monday denied a request by the city of Costa Mesa to put its proposed charter measure on the June 5 ballot.

The 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana turned down the city's writ seeking to compel county elections officials to put the measure before voters during the statewide primary, despite the fact that the city missed the original filing deadline.

Costa Mesa could not demonstrate the city would suffer "irreparable harm" if the proposed charter did not go before voters in June instead of at another time, according to the opinion.

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In its denial, the appellate court stated that the county registrar acted correctly in denying the city clerk's petition to override the missed deadline and that the trial court that heard the case ruled correctly.

"Justice was served," said attorney John B. Stephens, who joined other Costa Mesa residents on the case as an intervener opposed to the city's position. "This was a good decision by the trial court and a good decision by the appellate court."

City spokesman Bill Lobdell said Monday evening that the city had not yet seen a copy of the ruling and could not comment further.

The city cannot appeal the decision again, Stephens said.

Costa Mesa does have time to place the measure on the November general election ballot.

City Clerk Julie Folcik, who missed the March 9 filing deadline by one business day, was suspended from work last week.

E-mails obtained by the Daily Pilot through the state open records act show that she was reminded of the deadline by county elections officials.

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