It was an uneventful day in court Friday for the La Jolla Children’s Pool seals.
San Diego Superior Judge Yuri Hofmann recognized a temporary restraining order issued Wednesday in federal court that prevents the city of San Diego from dispersing the seals until at least Nov. 25. And Hofmann denied a motion to impose sanctions on the city for failing to comply with a 2005 judgment that required the seals be removed from the manmade cove.
Paul Kennerson, the lawyer representing plaintiff Valerie O’Sullivan, had asked the judge to fine the city $10,000 for every day that it failed to comply with the 2005 judgment. He had also asked that Mayor Jerry Sanders be imprisoned until the city complied with the judgment.
O’Sullivan, a former La Jolla resident sued the city in 2004 after she had been ticketed by federal authorities for seal harassment after swimming in the cove.
Hofmann also denied a motion by the city to remove O’Sullivan from the case. The city argued that because O’Sullivan moved to New Zealand in 2006, she no longer has an interest in what happens at the Children’s Pool.
On Wednesday, Hoffman ruled that the city was obligated to begin shooing the seals from the Children’s Pool to comply with a 70-year-old trust that governs its use. However, a federal judge yesterday issued a temporary restraining order restricting the city from such removal because of questions whether the city would be violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act.