CPCA Legal Advocacy 

The California Police Chiefs Association's legal advocacy is performed by Jones & Mayer law firm.

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The California Police Chiefs’ Association (CPCA) has, for many years, taken a lead role in advocating on behalf of California law enforcement.  CPCA is well respected in advocating on legislative matters, but it has also undertaken such action on matters in the state and federal courts. CPCA has taken the lead in preparing and submitting amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs supporting various arguments affecting law enforcement. 

An amicus brief is a document that is filed in a court by a person or an organization not directly related to the case under consideration. The most classic example is a document filed by an advocacy group, such as CPCA or the International Association of Chiefs’ of Police (IACP). The additional information found in such a document can be useful for the court evaluating the case, and it becomes part of the official case record. A brief might be filed to discuss the larger ramifications of potential case outcomes, since these ramifications might not be brought up by the parties during the course of the appeal. 

CPCA has filed amicus briefs in the various districts of the California Court of Appeal, as well as with the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal.  CPCA has also submitted such briefs to the California Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court.  On several occasions, counsel for CPCA has been invited to present oral argument to the court in order to elaborate on the issues raised in the brief.  On many occasions, the published opinion of the courts have specifically referenced CPCA’s amicus brief has having been instrumental in the courts’ arriving at their decision. 

Following are examples of briefs which have been, or are about to be, submitted in various matters: 

In the U.S. Supreme Court: City of Los Angeles v. Patel, supporting the City’s position that local ordinances which allow law enforcement to access hotel/motel guest registration information without securing a warrant.  Access to the registration information is of great assistance in law enforcements’ action to reduce human trafficking. 

In the California Court of Appeal:  ACLU/EFF v. City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles, supporting the ruling by a Superior Court that the collection of information with Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR) is not subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act (CPRA).  The ACLU and the Electronic Freedom Foundation demanded the release of such information so it could be publically disclosed, which would undermine a legitimate criminal investigative process. 

In the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal:  Peruta v. County of San Diego, supporting California’s law which requires that one articulate “good cause” in order to secure a permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW). 

In the California Supreme Court:  People v. Buza, supporting California’s law (Proposition 69) which allows the taking of DNA samples of those arrested for felonies.  This law was upheld as constitutional in the federal courts (Haskell v. Harris) but was declared unconstitutional by the California Court of Appeal.  The California Attorney General has announced that the state will petition the California Supreme Court for review and CPCA will support that petition.