Judge Rejects Attempt to Block Bruce Beach From Being Transferred Back to Black Owners

Judge Rejects Attempt to Block Bruce Beach From Being Transferred Back to Black Owners

Bruce Beach
Bruce Beach/Twitter

A Superior Court judge has rejected a legal attempt to block Los Angeles’ Bruce Beach from being transferred back to the descendants of the land’s Black owners.

Judge Mitchell Beckloff rejected a complaint filed by Joseph Ryan, an attorney from Palos Verdes Estates, on April 14, Easy Reader News reports. Beckloff ruled that returning the land to the Bruces was to right a past government wrong to remedy racial discrimination that serves a public purpose.

Ryan filed a complaint with the court in November 2021, arguing that the land transfer does not serve a public purpose and the recently enacted state law, S.B. 796, was unconstitutional under California law. But after Beckloff’s ruling, the Bruces are expected to take ownership of Bruce Beach within months.

“Righting a government wrong perpetrated in breach of our core and fundamental constitutional principles works to strengthen governmental integrity, represents accountability in government, and works to eliminate structural racism and bias,” Beckloff wrote.

“The government’s act of rectifying a prior egregious wrong based on racism fosters trust and respect in government.”

Ryan filed his petition to stop the transfer one month after Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a state law that would allow Los Angeles County to transfer the property to the Bruce family, Spectrum News reports. Ryan attempted to argue that transferring the land back to the Bruces would be a gift to the family, which is illegal under state law.

He also claimed the transfer would violate federal law, including the eminent domain ruling preventing the county’s decision to transfer the property. But the court disagreed with Ryan’s arguments saying the state law supports the land being transferred back to the rightful owners, and it is in the best public interest.

“As argued by (the county) during its hearing, redressing past acts of discrimination as well as preventing such acts in the future benefits the whole of the community and its general welfare,” Beckloff’s ruling read.

Now, after more than a century, Bruce Beach will be returned to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce, the original landowners who purchased the plot back in 1912.