We Successfully Won on Dog Beach in Court! (Part 1)

All of the reporting by SaveNewport is done with the public interest in mind. Informing the public is our top priority with all stories. This time, this reports just so happens to be in the middle of a scandal unfolding here on the beaches next to Newport Beach.  My involvement was no accident.  I deliberately became personally involved as an activist for the public interest.  This matter is delicate because it involves our trusted government officials.

In short, I won a case against tickets from BOTH the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and also the Newport Beach Police Department (via their “dog catcher division”), paving the way for any additional court cases to be equally dismissed or found not guilty, and if officers attempt to remove you from the state public lands after having these rulings cast down by the court system, then they are very likely in violation of your right to peaceably assemble on your own property– aka, a violation of your First Amendment rights.  A lawsuit on that will reflect poorly on the Newport Beach City Council Members (one of who is running for a Board of Supervisor Seat) or the OC Sheriff, Don Barnes.

Details are:
OCSD [link here]:
– Ticketed on 09/08/2019
– NOT GUILTY (judge refused to even hear the case due to a complete lack of evidence) on 05/26/2020
NBPD [link here] – Ticketed on 06/12/2020
– NOT GUILTY by ruling of the court on 1/29/2021

These are the only two agencies who have ever ticketed on Dog Beach.
Both agencies ticketed two people, ever.
I was one of each.
I intentionally received both tickets to prove in court that what they are doing was illegal– and won both times.

For clarity: The area in question is a bit of a complex zoning area, with no real physical declinations between the property lines, making the job anti-dog-beach-activists easier to accomplish as they are operating with unclear lines.  For clarity: they have been claiming that the entire area is “county land”– which is completely untrue. I have attached a map of the COUNTY section of the land, here, with official State Lands Area (Dog Beach) colored in red “spraypaint”:

I have also attached the Coastal Commission Report where even the staff says, in black and white, that using the area southward of the county line is legal and cannot be construed as anything but legal, here: https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2020/7/W14c/W14c-7-2020-report.pdf

To be clear, everything “spraypainted” in red beachward (south) of the county land outlined in GREEN is STATE PUBLIC LAND, just like all other beaches throughout the state. You have the right to be there, and it is technically called “Sovereign State Land”– a powerful word with a powerful meaning: You have every right to be there.  Moreover, there are no rules prohibiting dogs on state sovereign land, so there is no enforcement agency that can even legally ticket you for a dog within those boundaries.

The issue at hand is that of saving Dog Beach from wealthy political donors who live nearby and are– illegally– seeking their own private beach.  The Sheriff and the Newport Beach police have been forcing people to disperse from the beach and they cite the posted “NO TRESPASSING” signs for some of the county land (green borders) as their authority to do so.  What is not within their authority is to claim-jump the county (green) borders and falsely claim that the county borders there also encompass the public state beaches (red spraypainted).

The citizens have a right to enjoy the beach with or without their dogs– without the police camping out for hours at a time without any legitimate authority to force people to vacate the area.  As a dog lover and activist, I made the decision to contest the overreaching actions of law enforcement so that citizens may once again enjoy Dog Beach, unmolested by illegal police activity.  Now that we have won in court against BOTH ticketing agencies, I will be publishing my defense online in short order, and if this behavior continues, we will have a First Amendment issue on our hands against whichever agency decides to bring the tickets.

As many of you know, Dog Beach is seasonal.  During the wintertime, prevailing swell direction pushes the sand to the Huntington Beach side.  Right at winters end, the tide changes, and Dog Beach will be restored to its full effect on the Newport Beach side.  Right now, there is a small amount of sand available for your pups to play.  When the tide turns– and it is turning– you will be able to fully enjoy that area, once again.

But for now, in short: Enjoy Dog Beach!  We have put up a map online for you to interact with, here: https://savenewport.com/dogbeachmap/ and we will be offering more resources shortly, and since our plea to politicians didn’t work, we took the next-best route, and got the rulings of the court on our side, putting an end to this nonsense once and for all.




About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport and Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at michael.glenn@devion.com