Petition Filed in Alameda County Superior Court Claims Warehousing Of Mentally Ill Criminal Defendants

The American Civil Liberties Union is a party to a Petition for Writ of Mandate filed on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda.  The plaintiffs claim California “warehouses” mentally ill criminal defendants in jails without treatment for months, often in defiance of judicial orders.  Pamela Ahlin, Director of the California Department of State Hospitals, is named as a defendant.

The Petition for Writ of Mandate filed in Stiavetti v. Ahlin, RG15779731, is available here –   stiavetti_v_ahlin_acsuperior

The Courthouse News website story about the case can be read here.

Access to petition from DomainWeb

The Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, provides the public with online access to civil case records (documents and information) through DomainWeb.  The access to many of the records are now behind a pay wall on the court’s website but Public Reports (Filings) Search  provides links to all non-confidential cases filed on any given day —  by location and case type. This search page allows you to view the initial case creation petition (filing) for free for the first 5 days from the date of the filing.  DomainWeb allows for downloading of the document to your computer.





COLD Calling California State Government Agencies

heading_otechLooking for a telephone number for a California state official or staffer?  There is a great Internet resource with the acronym – COLD (California Online Directory.)

The California Online Directory is a service provided by the California Department of Technology. The Online Directory provides access to government information and services for state employees, local government and the general public. The directory services include state employee information, state agency information, and a State Government Organization Chart, as well as a keyword search.

Need the fax number for the Director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles?  (A real question at ACLL last week.)  It is there under the “Agency Display” for the department that is accessed through the Agency Lookup page.

    Director-Jean Shiomoto 916-657-6940
    Chief Deputy Director-Hugo Lopez 916-657-6940
    Deputy Director Of Special Projects- 916-657-6940
    FAX 916-657-2096


The California government agency organization charts are a great centralized resource for those legal researchers who are trying to establish the proper hierarchy for a department.  The California Judicial Council has its own page on the site but the local county courts do not.

The California Roster, also known as the Roster of Public Officials, is a listing of California’s public officeholders, including government officials, and the Judicial branch but only the main telephone number is listed for the individual court within the county section.  It also includes a history of California’s office holders,  a listing of all state agencies, departments, boards and commissions, and information on the state officials for each state in the nation.  The California Roster can be used to locate the appropriate official to serve in an action or proceeding against a public agency.  (Government Code 53051(c))

The California Roster which has been made available exclusively online by the California Secretary of State since 2005.

Looking for a telephone number for a court official?  The most detailed directory is Daily Journal’s California Court Directory available as a paper monthly supplement with a subscription to the publication.  It is kept at the Reference Desk at ACLL.



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Electronic Evidence From Instagram – In Re K. B.

In the published portion of the opinion In Re K.B., (2015), Case No. A140960, 2015 WL 4397762, —Cal.Rptr.3d. –, the California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 4 applied the California Supreme Court’s recent guidance on authentication of electronic evidence in People v. Goldsmith (2014) 59 Cal.4th 258 and concluded there was no error in admitting the photographic evidence from the social media site, Instagram.

The full text of the opinion can be read here – in_re_KB_A140960_CAcourtofappeal1st


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Alameda County Billboard Ban Passes Free-speech Test.

Alameda County billboard ban passes free-speech test.

Alameda County, California may enforce its ban on the display of signs in a “scenic corridor” along I-580, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco ruled.  On Thursday, July 16, 2015, Breyer granted and denied in part Alameda’s request for summary judgment in the back-and-forth lawsuit.

Breyers’ ruling  can be read here: Citizens for Free Speech LLC v County of Alameda

Read an article on the history of the case at:

The Sourcebook to Public Record Information ~ BRB Publications

A new publication is available at Alameda County Law Library ~ The Sourcebook to Public Record Information: The Comprehensive Guide to County, State, & Federal Public Records Sources, 11th ed.

The Sourcebook – organized by state – has chapters that provide detailed profiles of 22,000+ government agencies institutions including:SorceBk11thEdFinalWeb

  • County Courts
  • County Recorders’ Offices
  • State Agencies With Searchable Records
  • State Licensing Boards
  • Federal Courts
  • Plus the County Locator (30,000+ Place Names with Cross-Reference to Zip Codes and Counties)

The publisher states that this title is the only comprehensive source for analyzing when state court online systems are or are not equivalent to onsite searching.

After a short stay on the New Book cart, The Sourcebook will be found at ACLL as part of the Reference Desk collection – JK/ 468/.P76/S693/2015.