Murray v. Medical Board of California, et al.
The Medical Board of California filed an anti-SLAPP motion against the Plaintiff, Bruce T. Murray, alleging that his lawsuit against them infringes on their constitutional right to free speech. The Defendants’ assertion is far-fetched, and the Plaintiff’s opposition brief analyzes exactly why. The hearing on the anti-SLAPP motion is scheduled for March 11, 2019 in Dept. 55 of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Stanley Mosk Courthouse.
The Medical Board demurred to Plaintiff’s complaint on various grounds, none of them meritorious, as Plaintiff’s opposition brief shows. The hearing on Defendants’ demurrer is scheduled for March 12, 2019 in Dept. 55 of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Stanley Mosk Courthouse.
The Medical Board filed a motion to strike the Plaintiff’s entire prayer for relief, along with significant portions of the rest of his complaint. Plaintiff’s opposition brief shows that the motion to strike is based mostly on “straw man” arguments. The hearing is scheduled for March 12, 2019 in Dept. 55 of the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Plaintiff Bruce Thomas Murray sued the Medical Board of California and its agents because they wrongfully refused his requests to provide him with personal and medical information relating to his deceased mother, Audrey Bevan Murray, as his complaint alleges.
Petitioner’s initial “presentation of claims” against the Medical Board of California for denial of personal information. The California Government Claims Act (Cal. Gov. Code § 910 et seq.) requires complainants to submit their claims to the government prior to filing a lawsuit.
Action for writ of mandate
Petitioner’s trial brief, which asked the court to issue a writ of mandate, pursuant to Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1085, commanding the Medical Board to release all information in their possession regarding Audrey Bevan Murray’s medical condition, treatment, and the circumstances and cause(s) of her death.
The Medical Board claimed that withholding the information sought by Petitioner serves the public interest. “Obtaining the Board’s investigative materials to assist in ascertaining the cause Mrs. Murray’s death is outweighed by the Board’s need to maintain the confidentiality of investigations in order to fulfill its mandate of public protection,” Respondents claim.
“The interests of justice weigh strongly in favor of releasing information sought by Petitioner because the issue concerns life and death, and Petitioner has no alternate means of obtaining any explanation for his mother’s death.”
The court ruled that Petitioner had “failed to exhaust administrative remedies.” Thus, the case was not decided on the merits; and the substantive issues can be reconsidered in a subsequent action.
Respondents asserted that Petitioner’s claims were not ripe for review due to lack of finality and “failure to exhaust administrative remedies,” among other defenses. See Case No.: BS158575 in the court's register of actions.
Petitioner asserted that his claims are ripe for review. Further, the state has read a legal fiction into California Public Records Act in order to deny Petitioner access to the records he seeks.
The court overrules the state's demurrer in its entirety. With regard to the state’s arguments that Petitioner’s claims are not ripe for review, the court stated, “These arguments lack merit.”
This petition for mandamus asks the court to command the Medical Board to release all information in their possession regarding Audrey Bevan Murray’s medical condition, treatment, and the circumstances and cause(s) of her death. Filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles under Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1085 (“traditional mandate”).