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Murray v. Medical Board of California, et al.

Action for writ of mandate

Motion for Judgment on the Writ

Petitioner’s trial brief, in which Bruce T. Murray asked the court to issue a writ of mandate, pursuant to Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1085, commanding the Medical Board to release all information in their possession regarding Audrey Bevan Murray’s medical condition, treatment, and the circumstances and cause(s) of her death.

The state's opposition to the Writ

The Medical Board claimed that withholding the information sought by Petitioner serves the public interest. “Obtaining the Board’s investigative materials to assist in ascertaining the cause Mrs. Murray’s death is outweighed by the Board’s need to maintain the confidentiality of investigations in order to fulfill its mandate of public protection.”

Reply to Respondents' Opposition

“The interests of justice weigh strongly in favor of releasing information sought by Petitioner because the issue concerns life and death, and Petitioner has no alternate means of obtaining any explanation for his mother’s death.”

Judgment on the Writ

The court ruled that Petitioner had “failed to exhaust administrative remedies.” Thus, the case was not decided on the merits; and the substantive issues can be reconsidered in a subsequent action.

State's Demurrer to the petition

Respondents asserted that Petitioner’s claims were not ripe for review due to lack of finality and “failure to exhaust administrative remedies,” among other points of demurrer and defense. See Case No.: BS158575 in the court's register of actions.

Opposition to Respondents’ Demurrer

Petitioner explains why his claims are ripe for review, and he asserts that the state has read a legal fiction into California Public Records Act in order to deny Petitioner access to the records he seeks.

Overruling of the state’s demurrer

The court overrules the state's demurrer in its entirety. With regard to the state’s arguments that Petitioner’s claims are not ripe for review, the court stated, “These arguments lack merit.”

Amended Petition

This petition for mandamus asks the court to command the Medical Board to release all information in their possession regarding Audrey Bevan Murray’s medical condition, treatment, and the circumstances and cause(s) of her death. Filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles under Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1085 (“traditional mandate”).