Schmid v. City & County of San FranciscoAnnotate this Case
A bronze sculpture, “Early Days,” was originally part of a Civic Center monument to California's pioneer period. In 2018, at the request of the San Francisco Arts Commission, the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to take down “Early Days” and place it in storage. Early Days displayed a racist attitude toward Native Americans. Acting upon evidence of “significant adverse public reaction over an extended period of time,” the HPC authorized the removal; the Board of Appeals affirmed. Opponents of the removal asserted “a potpourri of claims,” including a claim under the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act (Civ. Code 52). They alleged that the Board of Appeals abused its discretion in authorizing the removal and that the manner of the removal, in the pre-dawn hours of the day following the Board's decision, was illegal.
The court of appeal affirmed the dismissal of the suit. Even if the opponents had adequately alleged the violation of rights amenable to Bane Act enforcement, their complaint does not allege anything that might reasonably be construed as “threats, intimidation or coercion” to violate those rights. There is no support for conclusory allegations that the Board acted in excess of its authority or abused its discretion.