Tuesday, October 19, 2010

California Court of Appeal Denies Margarito's Appeal Seeking to Set Aside CSAC Revocation of his License

On October 14, 2010, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Second Appellate District, Division Two, affirmed the Los Angeles County Superior Court's "denial of [Margarito's] petition for writ of mandate seeking to compel" CSAC "to set aside its order revoking Margarito's professional boxing license."  Note that this appeal followed from the CSAC's decision to revoke Margarito's license in 2009, i.e. the appeal was not taken from the more recent hearing (really sideshow) in August where the CSAC denied Margarito's request for a license.   

The Court of Appeal summarized the prior proceedings as follows:
After revocation of his license, Margarito filed a petition for writ of mandate to set aside the Commission's decision, arguing that professional boxing rules 323 and 390 do not provide for strict or vicarious liability and that the Commission erred as a matter of law by revoking his license on that basis. Margarito argued that the Commission violated his due process rights by changing its theory of liability during the course of the administrative hearing. He maintained that the Commission's January 27, 2009 'charging' letter stated that the enforcement action against him was based on specific language in rule 390 authorizing the Commission to sanction a licensee who 'conducts himself or herself . . . in a manner which is determined by the commission to reflect discredit to boxing' but that the Commission changed its theory to one of strict liability during the course of the hearing. Margarito further contended that the Commission violated his due process rights by withholding key evidence.

The trial court denied Margarito's petition, concluding that a 'violation of rule 323 . . . in and of itself is punishable under the second prong of section 390.' The trial court expressly rejected Margarito's argument that the Commission's 'charging' letter initially suspending Margarito's license misinformed him about the proposed charges and precluded the Commission from holding Margarito strictly liable for violating rule 323: 'I don't think that there's anything in the administrative record -- at least what you've cited me to, that showed that [Margarito] was mischarged or misinformed about what he was being charged with.' In its written ruling, the trial court stated: 'The Commission was correct in determining that [Margarito's] license can be revoked for his violation of the hand wrap rule whether [Margarito] knew what his trainer was doing or not.'
This appeal followed.
In its 16 page decision, the Court of Appeal concluded "that no due process violation occurred and that the professional boxing rules allowed the Commission to hold Margarito strictly liable for the rule violation that occurred here and to revoke his license on that basis." It therefore affirmed the judgment.


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