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Celebrity News

Court to consider California paparazzi law following Justin Bieber chase


Nov. 18, 2012: File photo, Justin Bieber accepts the award for favorite album - pop/rock for "Believe" at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards, in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles appellate panel wrote in a preliminary statement filed Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, that a 2010 California anti-paparazzi statute is constitutional. The law was used to charge a photographer for chasing Bieber last year, but a judge dismissed the anti-paparazzi counts in November 2012 because he said the law is overly broad and unconstitutional. (AP/Invision)

A judge has declined to reconsider his ruling dismissing charges filed under California's ant-paparazzi law which will trigger a full appeal before a panel of judges who have indicated they believe the law is constitutional.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Rubinson issued a notice on Monday declining to reconsider his decision to dismiss two charges against photographer Paul Raef, court records show. The judge ruled last year that the 2010 law was overly broad and violated the First Amendment, but Los Angeles prosecutors appealed the decision.

A three-judge appeals panel asked Rubinson to reconsider his ruling and indicated in a filing Jan. 28 that it believes the law is constitutional. The filing was issued based on a brief filed by prosecutors.

Raef was charged after authorities accused him of being involved in a high speed chase of Justin Bieber last year. He is the first person charged under the 2010 law that increased penalties for reckless driving by people trying to get photos for commercial gain.

If Rubinson had vacated his order, he would have had to conduct another hearing on the merits of the charges.

Raef's attorney David S. Kestenbaum had urged the judge to stick with his ruling and allow the appeal to be fully argued.

City attorney's spokesman Frank Mateljan declined comment on Rubinson's decision but said the city would continue to pursue its appeal.

Raef still faces traditional reckless driving charges, but that case is currently on hold.