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Appellate court to consider Calif. paparazzi law

  • Associated Press
  • February 6, 2013 - 8:47 PM

LOS ANGELES - A judge has declined to reconsider his ruling dismissing charges filed under California's ant-paparazzi law which will trigger a full appeal before a panel of judges who have indicated they believe the law is constitutional.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Rubinson issued a notice on Monday declining to reconsider his decision to dismiss two charges against photographer Paul Raef, court records show. The judge ruled last year that the 2010 law was overly broad and violated the First Amendment, but Los Angeles prosecutors appealed the decision.

A three-judge appeals panel asked Rubinson to reconsider his ruling and indicated in a filing Jan. 28 that it believes the law is constitutional. The filing was issued based on a brief filed by prosecutors.

Raef was charged after authorities accused him of being involved in a high speed chase of Justin Bieber last year. He is the first person charged under the 2010 law that increased penalties for reckless driving by people trying to get photos for commercial gain.

If Rubinson had vacated his order, he would have had to conduct another hearing on the merits of the charges.

Raef's attorney David S. Kestenbaum had urged the judge to stick with his ruling and allow the appeal to be fully argued.

City attorney's spokesman Frank Mateljan declined comment on Rubinson's decision but said the city would continue to pursue its appeal.

Raef still faces traditional reckless driving charges, but that case is currently on hold.

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