Alarm Industry Wants L.A. Judge Replaced

LOS ANGLES

An attempted break-in at a judge’s Los Angeles home has
given the alarm industry a second chance to win a judgment
blocking the Los Angeles Police Department’s new policy of
nonresponse to burglar alarms.

In early May, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe heard arguments lodged by the Greater Los Angeles Security Alarm Association (GLASAA) challenging the police commission’s new policy of not sending police officers to most tripped burglar alarms. Yaffe did not issue a ruling but indicated he was going to find in the city’s favor.

But after an incident at the judge’s home on Mother’s Day—an aborted break-in was originally ruled a false alarm until investigators found a screen removed—Yaffe called both sides into his office and asked them to seek his disqualification if they saw fit.

GLASAA attorney Arthur Fine said his clients asked to disqualify Yaffe because they had not had a chance to object to his tentative ruling and thought his first-hand experience cast a reasonable doubt on his impartiality.

City Attorney spokesman Eric Moses said his office did not think it necessary to replace Yaffe. “Our opinion is they were grasping at straws,” Moses said of GLASAA’s request, reported the Daily News. “They already heard the tentative ruling and were looking to get another bite at the apple.”

Yaffe told the lawyers he doesn’t think he ought to be disqualified. Now, both sides need to pick a neutral judge to decide whether he should be removed from the case, a ruling that may come the week of June 9.

The policy is set to go into effect July 1 if the police commission does not accept revisions to make it less strict, which top police officials are urging.

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