Court Grants DuPont’s Motion to Compel Documents from City

The city of Beverly Hills must provide plaintiffs DuPont Clinic, PC and Consultants in Obstetric and Gynecologic Ultrasonography and Surgery, PLLC (collectively “DuPont”) with an extensive list of emails and texts including personal communications from five city councilmembers and several city staff members, per a Los Angeles Superior Court ruling on May 13.

Judge Anne Richardson made the ruling in response to DuPont’s motion to compel additional discovery.

“DuPont is very pleased with the results of the hearing on Monday as the court gave us pretty much everything we were asking for,” Jessica Corpuz, attorney for DuPont, told the Courier. “The court ordered the city to reproduce its emails in a more usable format, ordered the city to turn over personal communications with certain city employees, which would include any times the city employee uses private methods of communication for official communications.”

As the Courier has reported, the DuPont plaintiffs allege that the city colluded with anti-abortion activists to pressure a Beverly Hills landlord to revoke a lease and ultimately stop them from opening a clinic for abortion services in Beverly Hills. The city denies the allegations.

In October of 2023, DuPont filed a lawsuit against the city, then-Mayor Dr. Julian Gold, and other city officials.

In February of 2024, the city filed what is known as an “anti-SLAPP motion,” seeking to strike numerous allegations in DuPont’s complaint. DuPont then filed its motion to compel further discovery, on the grounds that it needed additional material from defendants in order to respond to the anti-SLAPP motion.

“We obviously do not believe that their anti-SLAPP motion has any merit, and we look forward to filing opposition demonstrating why it doesn’t have any merit,” said Corpuz. “But part of what we wanted in this discovery was some of the evidence that we would rely on in that opposition.”

On May 15 the city released a statement indicating that it “will comply with the court’s ruling” and noting that it has already provided over 3,000 pages of documents to DuPont.

“The city of Beverly Hills has been very clear in its position of strongly supporting a person’s right to choose,” the statement continued. “The decision to rescind DuPont Clinic’s lease was not made by the city of Beverly Hills.”

The city now has six weeks to turn over additional documentation requested by DuPont. The court’s order will require the city to search the emails and phones of specific city staff and council members using a list of 30 search terms provided by DuPont.

This includes records from the five council members in office at the time DuPont was seeking to open in Beverly Hills: Lili Bosse, John Mirisch, Gold, Lester Friedman and Sharona Nazarian. It also includes City Manager Nancy Hunt-Coffey, Deputy City Manager Keith Sterling, Assistant City Manager Ryan Gohlich, Police Captain Max Subin, Police Sergeant Matthew Stout, Police Detective Mark Schwartz, Police Chief Mark Stainbrook and City Attorney Laurence Wiener.

The court order also allows DuPont to add five additional names to the above list.

The judge continued the hearing on the anti-SLAPP motion to Sept. 18 to provide the city time to retrieve the records and for DuPont to review them. The case will then proceed to trial unless the parties reach a settlement.

The city did not respond to the Courier’s request for comment on the possibility of a settlement.

Corpuz said that as DuPont’s attorney, she “personally hopes” a settlement can be reached. 

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