State Supreme Court Declines to Hear Alt-Weekly's Contempt Case

march 14, 2008  09:58 am
The California State Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a petition from the Santa Barbara Independent and staff photographer Paul Wellman asking the court to review a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge's decision to hold the paper and Wellman in contempt of court for not handing over photos from a murder last year, the Independent reports. This exhausts the legal options the paper had to fight the initial ruling. "I'm not surprised," Independent attorney Mike Cooney says. "Even though I'm devoted to the concept the subpoena was overbroad, it's difficult for appellate courts to review during criminal proceedings." Wellman faces potential imprisonment and the paper faces fines if they continue to refuse the subpoena, but both parties haven't yet decided what to do.