Appellate Court Rules Charter Cities Are Bound by Sanctuary State Law

An appellate court has ruled that Huntington Beach must abide by California’s sanctuary state law, SB 54, even though it is a charter city.

The three-justice panel of the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal issued its decision Friday, overturning an Orange County Superior Court decision.

As City News wrote at the time, Huntington Beach had argued it should be exempt from the law because it infringes upon the rights of those cities governed by a municipal charter.

Judge James Crandall agreed, opining that “the operation of a police department and its jail is a city affair.”

But in his opinion for the court Friday, Associate Justice Richard Fybel said SB 54 was “narrowly tailored to avoid unnecessary interference in local government.”

The reversal will have implications beyond Huntington Beach. There are 122 charter cities in California.

Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates has said he will recommend the city appeal to the California Supreme Court.

Read more about the decision and reactions at the Los Angeles Times.


Top Stories

Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 07:44

Jeremy Craig, who was hired as Vacaville’s city manager in 2017, has been ousted by the City Council. In a unanimous vote March 24, city leaders terminated his contract, effective immediately.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 09:40

Former L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiring to falsify material facts in a federal corruption investigation.