Carson Citizens for Reform v. Kawagoe, No. B209424
In plaintiffs' efforts to recall the city mayor, trial court's judgment and order awarding attorney fees against the county register and the city clerk is reversed where: 1) although defendant-city clerk's appeal from the judgment and order awarding attorney's fees is moot as to the portion of the judgment issuing the writ of mandate because the recall election has been held, the appeal is not moot as to the declaratory relief provided because the recall proponents' status as the successful parties for purposes of an award of attorney fees depends on the propriety of the trial court's ruling on the merits; 2) under the plain language of Elections Code sections 103 and 11303, a request to withdraw a signature from a recall petition is effective, without regard to whether the voter signs the petition before or after signing the request, as long as the request is filed with the appropriate election official prior to the filing of the petition; and 3) the withdrawal requests were valid and the city clerk's initial certification of the recall petition as insufficient was incorrect, as a voter's request to withdraw his or her signature from a recall petition is not a petition or paper that requires the signature of a circulator under section 104.
Filed October 13, 2009
Opinion by Judge Kriegler
For Appellant: Aleshire & Wynder, William W. Wynder and Douglas P. Haubert
For Appellee: Office of the Los Angeles County Counsel, James M. Owens, Assistant County Counsel, and Patrice J. Salseda, Senior Deputy County Counsel