Judge’s order on Spearman’s injunction petition

Staff PhotojournalistJames Harris - Headshot (hi-res)

James Harris’s name will be printed on the November ballot, as planned. Below is the judge’s ruling from this morning, denying the injunction sought by his opponent, incumbent Alice Spearman. Still, Spearman — who says Harris shouldn’t be allowed to run for school board in Oakland because he lives in the San Leandro school district — says it’s not over. Her attorney, Marc Guillory, says a hearing been set for Oct. 3.

Spearman’s hope this morning, she said, was to delay the printing of the ballots until the matter of her opponent’s eligibility could be resolved. Although Harris lives in Oakland City Council District 7, his neighborhood, Sheffield Village, that apparently separated itself from the Oakland school district in the 1960s. Harris said children in his development have the option of attending San Leandro and Oakland schools. He enrolled at least one of his children at Burckhalter this year.

“There’s mountains of evidence that he’s in the San Leandro Unified School District,” she said.

That might not be enough to disqualify him. In his ruling, the judge wrote:

Applicant has not submitted admissible evidence conclusively demonstrating that James Harris’s residence is in the San Leandro School District. Even if it were, it is unclear whether the fact would render him legally ineligible to run for Oakland School Board Director for District 7 given the text of the City Charter.


The judge noted that Article 4, Section 404 states that the school district boundaries are the same as the city council district boundaries.

Ruling denying injunction

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.