Measure R Suit Filed in State Courts

Malibu City Hall

This story has been updated. Please see editor’s note below.

Measure R opponents Tuesday afternoon filed a suit against the City’s formula retail ordinance in State court, a measure undertaken after their case against the City of Malibu was declined to be seen by a Federal judge this April.

Undeterred by the decision of U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt, who agreed with Malibu City Attorney Christi Hogin that several charges in the case filed in Federal Court were more suited for a state court, plaintiffs The Malibu Bay Company and The Park at Cross Creek continue their battle against Measure R, which they call “discriminatory, unfair, illegal and unconstitutional.”

According to a statement released by spokespeople for the plaintiffs, challengers are undeterred by being forced to re-file in State court.

“The State court lawsuit continues the challenge to Measure R that we began in Federal court. The Federal case is on hold pending the outcome of the suit we filed today,” the statement reads. “Our clients have invested considerable time and community effort trying to improve Malibu for all residents.”

Measure R enacted a 30% cap on the number of chain stores in shopping centers Citywide and created a voter-approval requirement for new commercial centers to be built in Malibu if they measure over 20,000 square feet.

The Federal lawsuit was filed the first week of January, just one month after the new law hit the books, and was sent down to state court by Kronstadt on April 11.

“It’s more than procedural, because the court has agreed with the City that there are questions that … are appropriate only for the state court to decide under state law and have nothing to do with Federal claims,” Hogin said following Kronstadt’s April decision.

Hogin added that no matter the arena, the City’s case for defending Measure R is strong.

“In the end, I think the City has a very strong position in this case, no matter where it’s adjudicated,” Hogin said at the time, “but the State courts, not the Federal courts, are the places that are best suited to look at the application of land use policy.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story improperly described State court as a “lower court.”