Plaintiffs in San Jose’s Google Lawsuit File Motion for New Judge

The First Amendment Coalition and Working Partnerships filed a motion for a new judge to preside over a case involving San Jose’s secretive dealings with Google.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Paul Bernal was scheduled this morning to oversee the lawsuit, which was filed by the two nonprofit plaintiffs last fall. But Bernal’s long personal ties with one of the central figures of the case—Mayor Sam Liccardo—caused the groups to question his ability to remain impartial.

Bernal and his family attended the mayor’s wedding in 2013, and Bernal’s wife, Mary Bernal, endorsed Liccardo during his first mayoral run that same year. The jurist’s niece, Elizabeth Bernal, also worked as a council assistant in Liccardo’s office around 2016.

David Snyder, the executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, said that they filed what is called a peremptory motion, which gives them the ability to have a judge automatically reassigned. In California, plaintiffs in civil cases are given one opportunity to file this type of motion. “We just felt that our chances are better with a different judge,” Snyder said. “We expect to be reassigned soon.”

By Monday afternoon the case was assigned to Judge Patricia Lucas, according to court spokesperson Benjamin Rada.

The lawsuit alleges that San Jose officials signed non-disclosure agreements with Google without the legal authority to do so. Nearly 20 officials signed NDAs as a part of negotiations for the tech-giant’s future downtown mega-campus.

But the First Amendment Coalition and Working Partnerships—a South Bay Labor-aligned nonprofit think tank—argue that San Jose’s municipal code only permits certain officials the power to enter into a contract with a third party, “without the prior approval of the city council.”

The plaintiffs argue that none of the officials that signed the NDA met that criteria.

They also claim that San Jose refused to hand over all responsive documents to public records requests and cited questionable exemptions when denying information

Snyder said that he hopes the issue of finding a new judge can be resolved quickly

“It’s already taken too long to get to this point,” he said in an interview this morning. “We’re optimistic that we’ll get a hearing date quickly and the city will release the records that it should have released many months ago.”

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase.

4 Comments

  1. Not that I don’t think there might be something crooked going on here, but what is the purpose of a non-discloser agreement if you have to disclose it?

  2. Liccardo is a crook and so are these Santa Clara County Judges….

    I wish people would wake up and realize what is happening in plain sight. Some of the comments I see on San Jose inside are dead on, and in my eyes, I would love for those people to run for office. They provide qualifying statements and they are 100% “spot on” … I personally appreciate reading this feedback and just get a kick out of the raw emotion that is put on the table…. we got some major problems folks!!

    Under the current Regime in San Jose (Santa Clara County) your free speech rights are going down the toilet fast. Please understand that that is the number one problem and we must not back down.

    Most of the Bench in Santa Clara County is corrupt and this is a proven fact. But the problem is they cover for each other all the way up to the 6th district court of appeal. We also have an internal appellate “Kangaroo Court” that is ran by Judge Helen Williams. That old bird sold her soul to the Devil a long time ago and only cares about protecting the establishment. Try going Pro Per in her court room and she will play “Hide the Gavel” the first time you get out of your lane.

    The City of San Jose is suing me in Civil court for protesting the police department over the confiscation of my Motorhome and personal property. This also included my fathers ashes, that to this day, the City or PD cannot tell me where the final resting place is for my dad that died in my arms after battling cancer.

    The City stole thousands of Motorhomes and cars in a failed attempt to eradicate the Homeless in our city in preparation for Super Bowl 50 (It Back Fired). The City mirrored what was done in Fresno Ca. (Kincaid Vs, City of Fresno) and worked in collusion with the County to keep people on unnecessary mental health holds to prevent them from retrieving their belongings. This over crowding of the jails resulted in people dying and these shady politicians tried to blame it all on Sheriff Laurie Smith.

    The “Great Homeless RV Gassing” was a well thought out plan and it made San Jose Mayor “Stinky” Sam Liccardo big bucks on his un disclosed real estate that his family owns downtown. Most of these shady politicians in Santa Clara County had some type of financial gain from this disgusting behavior that is going to land them a front row seat in Hell.
    I figured out their SCAM!!!!! I spent years researching what they had done and put all the pieces together. When the Shady City of San Jose realized I was not going to be their DOOR MAT they retaliated in and attempt to silence me for good.

    The City crashed and burned on a Muni Code jury trial for protesting Chief of Police “Fast” Eddie Garcia’s window. They attempted to launch this prosecution again and this was also a failed attempt. They where tying to put me away for a year in prison…. For protesting???

    Then the City got sneaky and decided to pull me into this “Civil Sandbox” and from the looks of this article, it is showing what I have always known, that Sam Liccardo is in bed with the Bench and favors where called in to silence my activism for good.

    Judge Helen Williams was assigned to this “Civil Circus” and decided to honor a Civil Injunction to prevent me from exposing the property SCAMs that tie back to Super Bowl 50. I was served with a MASSIVE Civil suit and buried in the back was a “Stay Away” order to prevent me from ragging on the upper brass of the Police Department.
    I got completely annihilated in court. Judge Helen Williams pretty much put on that Judicial “Strap on” and went to town on me…. To this day I still cannot walk straight…. She didn’t even buy me breakfast….

    That’s just what the City of San Jose does to silence someone….. Now let me tell you what Judge Patricia Lucas did to silence the community during the Persky Recall Movement.

    Go look at the front door to any and all Santa Clara County Court houses. You will see a list of un constitutional “Butt Wipe” that is signed by Patricia “Patty” Lucas. This order is “Free Speech” repellant and is the most “Non-American” thing I have ever seen. This Judge has decided to make the law up and bypass any and all legislative bodies in our City / County. She also never went the proper channel to implement these type of Shady Rules…. She implemented this garbage weeks after the Clerks and Court staff went on strike to protest getting low wages. It was an awesome protest!!! Very Impressed!!

    Judge Lucas was the “Big Cheese” at the time of my arrest out in front of Family Court. I was operating a “Plastic” kids toy megaphone (No Batteries), not blocking a side walk, not on court property, and doing nothing wrong. She threw me in the Snake Chambers in the bottom of the Family Destruction Center. I was then transferred over to the Santa Clara County Jail to be held until my arraignment. When Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith got word of what was going on, she immediately sprung me from the pokey and dropped the resisting arrest charge (See Article Link Below) The DA’s office still went after me for the protesting charge (166 Violation) and have been maliciously prosecuting me for years.

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/05/01/sheriff-releases-protester-arrested-after-judges-order/

    This is what Judge Lucas is all about folks…. She arrests clean and sober father for protesting Family Court. I was a desperate father fighting to have my court orders enforced to see my little girl.

    So this is the playing field…. Be safe folk and watch out for Sam’s friends….. those “Thugs” in Black Robes have the Mayors back and are also in Googles Pocket.

    FYI…. Google is also limiting coverage on their search engine results on these issues. It’s the same with any type of criticism about the Mayor and his back-door deals. Reverse search engine optimization…. They own YouTube and are doing sneaky stuff to prevent the truth from getting out to the public….

    Google and Stinky Sam are Bad for San Jose…..

    Family Justice Center arrest video =

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stSPBpT8Ri4

    SJPD Arrest by officer John Thopkins ordered by Chief Garcia / Sam Liccardo

    • Hi Scott,
      I really appreciate your videos, especially the ones on homelessness. Thanks for opening eyes to what is really happening.

  3. General Order on Expressive Activity explained (Judge Lucas’s Order)…. along with an example of the public being scared away by Sheriff Deputies… Remember folks….. the Judges are ordering the deputies to do this…. Most of them i talk to think this is a load of crap and very UN American….

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