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Westside Subway Lawsuits: Metro, 1, Beverly Hills School District, 0

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In what is likely the first of at least a few lawsuits filed by Beverly Hills groups over the Westside extension of the Purple Line subway, Metro has come out ahead. The Beverly Hills Unified School District filed a suit claiming that Metro violated the Freedom of Information Act by not releasing documents about the studies regarding tunneling under sacred ground Beverly Hills High School. Superior Court judge Ann Jones ruled last week that no, Metro did not violate the FOIA. BHUSD didn't specify what the relevant documents were, so the onus is on them, not Metro, according to the ruling and a report on The Source. The judge also found that the school district wanted documents that weren't yet finalized, and they were asking for proprietary information that's exempt from FOIA (like geological information that relates to utility systems). According to Jones's ruling, BHUSD lawyers also sent questions to Metro about the subway route without mentioning that they were supposed to be taken as document requests: "A public agency... cannot reasonably be required to construe an inquiry by lawyers -- such as 'Confirm overall box dimension,' or 'confirm traction power substation physical size requirements' or 'clarify estimate approach used in preparing historical database of stations cost' -- as requests for public records... the Petition, therefore, is denied."
· Court Rules in Favor of Metro in Westside Subway Extension Case [The Source]
· Purple Line Extension Archives [Curbed LA]