The Los Angeles city attorney's office asked a federal court Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the exclusive Jonathan Club challenging the constitutionality of the city's new anti-discrimination ordinance. The city claims that ongoing proceedings against the club preempt the suit.
A hearing on the suit has been scheduled for Feb. 22 before U.S. District Judge Jesse Curtis.
In a lengthy motion prepared by Assistant City Atty. Annette Keller, the city argued that as an alternative the federal court should grant a summary judgment against the Jonathan Club.
The motion noted that the city had sued the Jonathan Club to integrate women into the men's bar and grill in the downtown club on Jan. 7, just one day after the Jonathan Club sued to invalidate the ordinance. It said the club's attorney, John Shiner, had sought a delay of the city's suit, an advance copy of which he had been provided, while preparing to file the club's suit.
In fact, the motion contended, the city's proceedings against the club were going on at the time the club filed its suit, even though the actual suit was not filed in state Superior Court until the next day. It also said that the proceedings involve an important government interest and that the state courts, rather than federal court, are the place to resolve it.
Shiner said Tuesday that each side in the dispute had informed the other of its intention to file suits and that any implication that the Jonathan Club had tried to get its suit in first was incorrect.