Myerson v. City of Los Angeles Records, 1971-1985

Processed by Kathleen Redmond and Susan Jones
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
6120 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044
Phone: (323) 759-6063
Fax: (323) 759-2252
Email: archives@socallib.org
URL: http://www.socallib.org/
© 2003
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. All rights reserved.

The Register of Myerson v. City of Los Angeles Records, 1971-1985

Collection number: MSS 081

Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research



Los Angeles, California

Contact Information:

  • Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
  • 6120 South Vermont Avenue
  • Los Angeles, CA, 90044
  • Phone: (323) 759-6063
  • Fax: (323) 759-2252
  • Email: archives@socallib.org
  • URL: http://www.socallib.org/
Processed by:
Kathleen Redmond and Susan Jones

Date Completed:
November 2003
Encoded by:
Susan Jones
© 2003 Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Myerson v. City of Los Angeles Records,
Date (inclusive): 1971-1985
Collection number: MSS 081
Creator: Myerson, Seymour
Extent: 7 legal boxes; 2 1/3 linear feet
Repository: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
Los Angeles, CA 90044
Abstract: The Myerson v. City of Los Angeles Records consist of materials collected by Seymour Myerson pertaining to his lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), LAPD Chief of Police Edward M. Davis, and LAPD Officer Clifford E. Ruff. Mr. Myerson was represented in this lawsuit by ACLU volunteer attorney Samuel Paz of Gomez, Paz, Rodriguez & Sanora and Fred Okrand of the ACLU. Materials in this collection range in date from 1971 to 1985.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles. The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Myerson v. City of Los Angeles Records, Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, Los Angeles, California.

Provenance

Donated to the Library by Seymour "Mike" Myerson in May 1986.

Biography

In June of 1977 Seymour "Mike" Myerson, a retired architect and long-time Los Angeles community activist, filed suit against the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), LAPD Chief of Police Edward M. Davis and LAPD Officer Clifford E. Ruff. In this lawsuit he charged officers of the LAPD with harassment and illegal surveillance and claimed he was prevented from expressing his social, political, and economic views. Mr. Myerson was represented in his suit by attorneys Samuel Paz, volunteer attorney and President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - Southern California Chapter, and Fred Okrand, also of the ACLU.
During the years 1974-1976, Seymour Myerson was under LAPD surveillance, conducted by the Public Disorder Intelligence Division (PDID), stemming from his involvement with activist groups such as the Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and the Institute for Marxist Studies. During this period Mr. Myerson was subjected to such harassment as having his automobile tires slashed numerous times, rocks and bricks thrown through his windows, and being followed on trips to San Francisco, New York and North Carolina. On June 12, 1976 an officer made a false report claiming that Myerson was brandishing a gun outside of his home in Silver Lake. As a result of this false report, Myerson's home was surrounded by uniformed police and thoroughly searched. No weapon was discovered.
After making numerous complaints over several years to the LAPD and the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, Mr. Myerson filed suit in 1977 and was represented by attorneys from the ACLU. The lawsuit that followed served to shed much light on the activities of LAPD surveillance operations of the 1970s, particularly the activities of the PDID, and revealed information about the unethical and illegal efforts of the police to disrupt legitimate community and civil rights groups.
After years of legal motions, a settlement was finally reached in 1982 and the City of Los Angeles agreed to pay Mr. Myerson $27,500 in compensatory damages. This suit, one of the first of its kind, started a string of similar suits filed by the ACLU alleging police harassment of political and community activists.

Scope and Content

This collection is comprised of legal documents, legal research materials, correspondence, press clippings and photographs pertaining to Seymour Myerson's lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department. Copies of Plaintiff's and Defendants' motions and the Court's responses to them are included, as well as copies of 14 depositions. This collection also contains legal research materials of Samuel Paz, attorney for Mr. Myerson, and materials he had collected to submit as evidence at trial. Policy and procedural manuals issued by the LAPD are included, as are copies of Mr. Myerson's correspondence with various representatives of the LAPD and the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners. Of particular interest are this collection's legal documents, depositions and LAPD materials, for they serve to reveal valuable information regarding the activities of the Public Disorder Intelligence Division of the LAPD in the 1970s and the duties and activities of undercover officers and LAPD intelligence gathering, in general.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into 6 series: 1. Legal Documents, 1977-1982, 2. Evidentiary Materials, 1975-1982, 3. General Legal Materials, 1974-1982 , 4. LAPD Materials, 1971-1985, 5. Correspondence, 1975-1982 and 6. Newspaper Clippings, 1977-1983.

Arrangement

Materials in each individual series are arranged chronologically.

Separated Material

No materials have been separated from this collection.

Related Material at the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research

Title: Latino Community Justice Center Records,
Date (inclusive): 1987-1991,
Physical Description: 1 linear foot
Title: Urban Policy Research Institute Records,
Date (inclusive): 1970-1985,
Physical Description: 48 cubic feet
Title: Christopher Commission Report on the LAPD,
Date (inclusive): July 1991
Title: State of Emergency: Inside the Los Angeles Police Department, Elizabeth Canner and Julia Meltzer,
Date: 1993,
Location: Video Collection # 233

Bibliography

Domanick, Joe. To Protect and Serve: LAPD's Century Long War in the City of Dreams, New York: Pocket Books, 1994.
Herbert, Joe. Policing Space: Territoriality and the Los Angeles Police Department, Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.

Collection Contents

 

Series 1. Legal documents, 1977-1982

Physical Description: 2.5 legal boxes

Scope and Content Note

This series includes copies of legal documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court regarding Case No. C203436 Seymour A. Myerson v. The City of Los Angeles, Edward Davis, Los Angeles Police Department, and Officer Clifford E. Ruff.
Box-folder 1/1

Complaint, June 14, 1977; Answer, December 30, 1977; Amendments to Complaint, June 1977 - March 1980

Box-folder 1/2

Demurrer, September 1977 - December 1977

Box-folder 1/3

Demand for Jury Trial, December 1977; Nunc Pro Tunc Order, March 1979; Reporters Correction of Deposition, March 1980; Notice of Continuance, February 1981; Plaintiff's Notice of Change of Address, November 1981; Stipulation to Extend Statute of Limitations, April 1982

Box-folder 1/4

Plaintiff's Proofs of Service, June 1977 - February 1978

Box-folder 1/5

Plaintiff's Requests to Inspect Documents, Responses and copies of Court's decisions on motions, April 1978 - February 1979

Box-folder 1/6

Plaintiff's Requests to Inspect Documents, May 1979 - October 1981

Box-folder 1/7

Defendant's Request to Inspect Documents and Response, April 1979 - February 1981

Box-folder 1/8

Notices of Taking Depositions, September 1978 - April 1981

Box-folder 1/9

Deposition Subpoenas, March 1979 - March 1981

Box-folder 1/10

Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Answers in Deposition and Response, December 1978 - November 1979

Box-folder 1/11

Plaintiff's Notice of Appeal and Court's decision, May 1979 - June 1979

Box-folder 1/12

Interrogatories Propounded Plaintiff to Defendants and Answers, September 1977 - March 1978

Box-folder 1/13

Interrogatories Propounded Plaintiff to Defendants and Answers, April 1978 - March 1979

Box-folder 1/14

Interrogatories Propounded Defendants to Plaintiff and Answers, December 1977 - January 1982

Box-folder 2/1

Court order for defendants to produce files (files included), April 1980

Box-folder 2/2

Plaintiff's Request for Immediate Trial Setting Conference and Notice of Ruling, September 1981 - October 1981

Box-folder 2/3

Notice of Mandatory Settlement Conference and Trial, October 27, 1981; Plaintiff's Mandatory Settlement Conference Briefs, March 19, 1982; Mandatory Settlement Conference Statement, April 6, 1982

Box-folder 2/4-3/8

Depositions, November 1978 - May 1981

Box-folder 2/4

Seymour Arthur Myerson: Volume I, November 30, 1978

Box-folder 2/5

Seymour Arthur Myerson: Volume II, December 4, 1978

Box-folder 2/6

Clifford E. Ruff: Volumes I & II, November 8, 1978

Box-folder 2/7

Tyler B. Hutchison, April 18, 1979

Box-folder 2/8

Joel Berk, May 31, 1979

Box-folder 2/9

John W. Thompson, July 30, 1979

Box-folder 2/10

Eddie Solomon, December 18, 1979

Box-folder 3/1

Edward M. Davis, February 5, 1980

Box-folder 3/2

Alex Mestas, August 21, 1980

Box-folder 3/3

John R. Stone, April 22, 1981

Box-folder 3/4

Irene L. Grannel, May 12, 1981

Box-folder 3/5

Donald Van Velzer, May 21, 1981

Box-folder 3/6

Robert J. Sanchez, May 21, 1981

Box-folder 3/7

John Curiel, May 21, 1981

Box-folder 3/8

Stanley S. Freedman, May 21, 1981

 

Series 2. Evidentiary materials, 1975-1982

Physical Description: 1.5 legal boxes

Scope and Content Note

This series includes materials collected by Samuel Paz, attorney for Seymour Myerson, to be used as evidence in Myerson's suit against the City of Los Angeles, Edward Davis, Los Angeles Police Department, and Officer Clifford E. Ruff. These evidentiary materials include: photographs, notes from Myerson's meetings with the LAPD, Freedom of Information Act requests, Myerson's FBI file and medical records, bills, receipts, interview notes and several cassette tapes of recorded interviews.
Box-folder 3/9

46 photographs and reference notes, n.d.

Box-folder 3/10

One (1) photograph of Alex Mestas and handwritten note from Myerson to Paz, n.d.

Box-folder 3/11

One (1) photograph of automobile with slashed tires and LAPD Victim Report Memo, May 20, 1975

Box-folder 3/12

40 photographs of undercover officers, n.d.

Box-folder 3/13

14 photographs of Myerson's house and surrounding neighborhood, n.d.

Box-folder 3/14

Three (3) photographs of protestors, n.d.

Box-folder 3/15

17 photographs of Myerson's automobile, protestors and undercover officers, n.d.

Box-folder 3/16

Nine (9) photographs of damage to screen, n.d.

Box-folder 3/17

Two (2) slides of automobile and negatives, n.d.

Box-folder 3/18

Notes from Myerson's meetings with the LAPD, June 1976 - March 1977

Box-folder 3/19

Police file information supplied to Myerson, April 1975 - June 1975

Box-folder 3/20

Freedom of Information Act requests, 1977-1978

Box-folder 4/1

Myerson FBI file, June 1978

Box-folder 4/2

Bills and receipts, April 1975 - May 1981

Box-folder 4/3

Myerson's medical records, 1979, 1982

Box-folder 4/4

Handwritten and typed notes from interviews, May 1975 - May 1981

Box-folder 4/5

Copies of newspaper photographs related to case, 1982

Box-folder 4/6

Assorted reports, receipts and notes, April 1975 - February 1976

Box-folder 4/7

Four (4) cassette tapes with recorded interviews, 1982, Tape 1 Side A: Midge Purcell; Tape 1 Side B: Ronnie Santana; Tape 2 Side A: Rose Chernin; Tape 2 Side B: ?; Tape 3 Side A: Chernin, Stone and Grannell; Tape 3 Side B: Admiral Dawson; Tape 4 Side A: Otha McKenny; Tape 4 Side B: ?

Box-folder 4/8

Three (3) cassette tapes with recorded interviews, 1982, Tape 5 Side A: Deacon Alexander; Tape 5 Side B: ?; Tape 6 Side A: Shirley Kessler; Tape 6 Side B: ?; Tape 7 Side A: untitled; Tape 7 Side B: ?

 

Series 3. General legal materials, 1974-1982

Physical Description: 1.5 legal boxes

Scope and Content Note

This series includes assorted research and other materials related to Samuel Paz's representation of Seymour Myerson in his suit against the City of Los Angeles, Edward Davis, Los Angeles Police Department, and Officer Clifford E. Ruff. It also includes information regarding the ACLU, who provided additional legal representation to Myerson in his case. Materials comprising this series are press releases, attorneys' notes, information regarding the National Jury Project, copies of related cases, articles and a copy of Mike Myerson's manuscript Nothing Could Be Finer.
Box-folder 5/1

ACLU press releases, June 1977 - April 1982

Box-folder 5/2

Attorney's file notes, 1977-1982

Box-folder 5/3

Public relations notes, n.d.

Box-folder 5/4

L.A. Times interview notes and rough transcript, n.d.

Box-folder 5/5

Attorney's research: photocopies of articles, photographs, copies of legal documents from related cases, n.d.

Box-folder 5/6

Attorney's research: handwritten notes, n.d.

Box-folder 5/7

Copies of other lawsuits filed by the ACLU, 1976-1982

Box-folder 5/8

National Jury Project, 1977-1982

Box-folder 5/9

National Jury Project, 1977-1982

Box-folder 5/10

National Jury Project, 1977-1982

Box-folder 5/11

Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute correspondence, September 1978 - September 1979

Box-folder 6/1

COINTELPRO Justice Department release, 1974

Box-folder 6/2

"The CIA-FBI Conspiracy: Exposure & Cover-up" by Arnold Lockshin, 1975

Box-folder 6/3

One (1) photograph, photocopies of newspaper articles, and newsletters regarding the "Wilmington 10," n.d.

Box-folder 6/4

Copy of manuscript of Michael Myerson entitled Nothing Could Be Finer, and copy of L.A. Times review, November 19, 1978

Box-folder 6/5

"The Hispanic Victim" National Crime Survey Report, Department of Justice, 1980

Box-folder 6/6

Progressive Law Practice, 1981

Box-folder 6/7

"Freedom of Association and Political Parties and Pressure Groups" 13 American Law Review 1025, n.d.

 

Series 4. LAPD materials, 1971-1985

Physical Description: 1 legal box

Scope and Content Note

This series includes materials relating to LAPD policies and procedures and to the LAPD Public Disorder Intelligence Division, collected by attorney Samuel Paz during his representation of Seymour Myerson. Also included in this series are LAPD reports, bulletins, correspondence and notes.
Box-folder 6/8

LAPD - Harassment reports, correspondence, 1971-1972

Box-folder 6/9

LAPD - Training Bulletin: Firearms Safety, 1972; Disciplinary Procedures, 1975; Revolver Manual, 1976

Box-folder 6/10

LAPD - Public Disorder Intelligence Division, 1975-1982

Box-folder 6/11

LAPD - Undercover Informants, 1976-1981

Box-folder 6/12

Coalition Against Police Abuse and various other police monitoring organizations, 1976-1982

Box-folder 6/13

LAPD - Use of Force policy, 1977

Box-folder 6/14

LAPD - File Shredding, 1978-1979

Box-folder 6/15

LAPD - Police involved killings and LA County District Attorney Reports, August 1978 - April 1979

Box-folder 7/1

LAPD - Police involved killings and LA County District Attorney Reports, December 1979 - January 1982

Box-folder 7/2

Other police abuse cases involving LAPD, 1979-1981

Box-folder 7/3

Articles concerning police spying and police abuse, 1980-1981

Box-folder 7/4

Hispanic Advisory Council to Police Commission, 1980-1982

Box-folder 7/5

LAPD - Failure to Prosecute Use of Deadly Force, October 1981 - March 1982

Box-folder 7/6

LAPD - Anti-Terrorist Division, 1985

 

Series 5. Correspondence, 1975-1982

Physical Description: 0.25 legal box

Scope and Content Note

This series includes the correspondence of Seymour Myerson and Samuel Paz regarding Myerson's legal proceedings. Also included in this series are the congratulatory messages sent to Myerson after the settlement of his case.
Box-folder 7/7

Correspondence of Seymour Myerson, 1975-1982

Box-folder 7/8

Correspondence of Samuel Paz, 1978-1982

Box-folder 7/9

Congratulatory messages sent to Myerson after the settlement of his case, 1982

 

Series 6. Newspaper clippings, 1977-1983

Physical Description: 0.25 legal box

Scope and Content Note

This series includes photocopies of newspaper clippings regarding Seymour Myerson's case against the City of Los Angeles, Edward Davis, Los Angeles Police Department, and Officer Clifford E. Ruff. Also included in this series are various assorted clippings concerning police activities.
Box-folder 7/10

Photocopies of newspaper clippings regarding the Myerson case, 1977-1983

Box-folder 7/11

Newspaper clippings and photocopies of clippings regarding the Myerson case, n.d.

Box-folder 7/12

Photocopies of newspaper clippings regarding police activities, n.d.

Box-folder 7/13

Photocopies of newspaper clippings regarding surveillance and intelligence, n.d.