A writ of supersedeas is a request to the Court of Appeal to intervene and issue a stay to prevent the disastrous consequences of a trial court order. They are rarely successful. However, the Law Office of Asit Panwala obtained a permanent stay, preventing Ordinance No. 2131 (a controversial zoning law) from going into effect while the appeal is litigated.
On April 1, 2015, the Morgan Hill City Council voted 3 to 2 to change the zoning of a parcel of land to help an out-of-town developer to build a hotel. Although there is plenty of commercial land available, the developer bought industrial land meant to bring careers to Morgan Hill with the hope that he could receive an easy windfall with the conversion.
More than 2,500 voters said no by signing a petition for referendum, preventing the ordinance from becoming law. It could only become law only if the voters approved at a ballot measure.
The City Council then tried to ignore the petition. After the Hotel Coalition sued the City, the City agreed to place the measure on the ballot, but then sued to remove it. The City won at the trial court level, but Law Office of Asit Panwala persisted and filed a writ. This week, the Sixth District Appellate Division issued a permanent stay. We hope that at the end of the day the Court will agree that voters should have the final say.