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People v. Lim

Supreme Court of California
18 Cal. 2d 872 (1941)


Facts

The district attorney of the county of Monterey (Monterey) (plaintiff) sought an injunction on behalf of the State of California to restrain Eddie Lim and others (defendants) from continuing the operation of a gambling operation within Monterey. The complaint alleged that the gambling operation constituted a public nuisance because it encouraged idle and dissolute habits, disturbed the public peace, and corrupted the public morals. The complaint further alleged that prosecuting the gambling operation under criminal law had proven ineffective and that an equitable remedy was therefore necessary. Monterey sought a preliminary injunction pending trial. The defendants interposed general and specific demurrers, arguing that the allegations of the complaint were insufficient because no facts were alleged from which a court could conclude that a nuisance existed under California statute. The trial court sustained both the general and specific demurrers. Monterey appealed, arguing that the complaint sufficiently alleged facts from which a court could conclude a common-law nuisance existed, and that common law should be given effect where not inconsistent with constitutional or statutory law. The defendants countered that the statutory authority of the district attorney to bring an action in equity for public nuisance only extended to statutory nuisances.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Gibson, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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