Breaking: Superior Court judge temporarily halts Costa Mesa layoffs.

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This just came in from the OCEA:  Superior Court Justice Tam Nomoto Schumann has issued a temporary injunction against the Righeimer gang’s planned layoff/outsourcing of half the city employees’ jobs which had been planned for September.  Prevatt has a more thorough discussion of the legal arguments against the layoffs here; in short

California law prohibits General Law cities like Costa Mesa from outsourcing services except under very narrow circumstances. The employees contend that the City’s action to outsource nearly all city services (except police) exceeds the power granted to municipalities and clearly violates California law, Additionally, the City’s contract with the Employees Association prohibits this type of mass outsourcing under the terms of the agreement, which doesn’t expire until March 31, 2013.

Evidently Judge Schumann found these arguments at least somewhat compelling or she wouldn’t have issued the temporary injunction.  Here’s the OCEA press release:

.,Judge stops Costa Mesa layoffs.,m.

SANTA ANA, CA – Expressing concern about a looming layoff date, a Superior Court judge this afternoon told attorneys she would issue a preliminary injunction precluding the mass layoffs of municipal employees within the City of Costa Mesa.

Nearly half the City’s workforce received six-month layoff notices on March 17 after the Costa Mesa City Council majority voted to outsource their jobs. At the time, the City Council had not studied the cost of outsourcing or the negative impacts to community services, and they still have failed to do so.

The Orange County Employees Association, on behalf of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association, filed a lawsuit in May to stop the layoffs.

“This is a positive outcome, but it is only one step toward holding this Council accountable,” OCEA Communications Director Jennifer Muir said. “It will prevent the City from laying off employees to outsource to the private sector. At least temporarily, it removes a dark cloud from over the heads of City employees, their families, and the entire community. ”

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