Leider v. LewisAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff and the late Robert Culp filed suit seeking to enjoin the continued operation of the elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo. Plaintiff alleged that the Zoo’s conduct violated animal cruelty provisions in the Penal Code, and constituted illegal expenditures of, waste of, or injury to public funds and property. On appeal, both parties challenged the trial court's issuance of limited injunctions prohibiting the use of particular forms of inappropriate discipline, requiring the elephants have specific amounts of exercise time, and requiring the rototilling of the soil in the exhibit. The court agreed with the trial court that the court's decision in the first appeal was law of the case of plaintiff's right to bring a taxpayer action based on violations of certain Penal Code provisions concerning animal abuse. In the alternative, the court concluded that Civil Code section 3369, which prohibits the issuance of an injunction to enforce a penal law, does not apply to taxpayer suits. The court further concluded that the trial court’s injunctions concerning soil maintenance and exercise time were proper, but rejected plaintiff's claims that the trial court erred by otherwise declining to close the elephant exhibit. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.