Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 at 12:35 pm in Uncategorized.
They may all love soccer (as evidenced by this soccer player pictured here), but it appears – at the moment, anyway – that all of San Carlos’ soccer lovers don’t exactly love each other.
The San Andreas Youth Soccer Organization (SAYSO), a peninsula-wide youth soccer academy and competitive club based in Belmont, is suing San Carlos for access to field space. But to get all the information that they need to pursue the case, SAYSO’s attorneys have given other local soccer organizations – who are not plaintiffs in the suit – subpoenas to “produce a lot of stuff,” according to Dan Robinson, president of the San Carlos United Soccer Club.
Robinson worries that attorney’s fees to complete – or fight – the work required by the subpoena could quickly eat up the $10,000 the non-profit organization has in the bank to sustain their season’s activities.
“Once we get the attorneys involved, that’ll pretty much wipe us out,” Robinson said. “That’s the stressful part for us. They seem to not have a problem with it. We’re just a bunch of volunteers.”
Included in the subpoena are a list of children’s names and addresses that have been enrolled in the club, and copies of every communication they’ve had with the city since the start of the decade.
“That’s two of the 20 requests that they’ve made of us,” Robinson said. “It’s just an extensive amount of information that they’re asking for.”
Robinson is further worried that the list of names and addresses could violate their young members’ privacy.
“That’s really the biggest issue,” Robinson told us Friday.
San Carlos has denied SAYSO field use permits, citing that its over-taxed fields need to be reserved for organizations with 90 percent of their members residing in San Carlos. SAYSO, which has 20 percent of its members residing in San Carlos, contends that San Carlos is violating the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. The civil suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, is set for a hearing on May 8 to consider the city’s motion for summary judgment in their favor (which would dispose of the case). The city has had to seek outside counsel to represent them in the matter.
Subpoenas were also issued to San Carlos AYSO and Kidz Love Soccer in San Mateo. SAYSO attorney Dan Zamora, of San Francisco law firm Tobin & Tobin, said those organizations turned over their documents after negotiations. Zamora said he hadn’t heard from San Carlos United, but Robinson contends that Tobin & Tobin hasn’t returned their calls.
“They have not objected to complying,” Zamora said of AYSO and Kidz Love Soccer. “We agreed on specific information that was most pertinent to this lawsuit.”
As a part of subsequent agreements, Zamora said, neither San Carlos AYSO nor Kidz Love Soccer had to provide names or addresses of players. He also said that San Carlos United can petition the court “to limit the production (of documents) if they deem it overbroad.”
Michael Lindeburg, SAYSO’s executive director, said that his organization “does not have any beef” with San Carlos United and that it “doesn’t need to spend a dime to hire a lawyer” unless “it thinks it has something to hide.” According to Lindeburg, all that they’re asking of San Carlos United is to provide information to validate the city’s claims.
“The San Carlos United Soccer Club’s worry that it will need to hire a lawyer to protect itself and the privacy of its members is unfounded,” Lindeburg said in an email statement. “San Carlos claims to have already requested and received membership information from the San Carlos United Soccer Club, so this wouldn’t be the first time that the San Carlos United Soccer Club has released the information. Unfortunately, the City hasn’t found, maintained, or produced the information it claims to have received from the San Carlos United Soccer Club.”
San Carlos United is primarily an independent organization affiliated with the California Youth Soccer Association – North, which Robinson said offered no help with the subpoena. San Carlos AYSO and Kidz Love Soccer are part of national organizations with corporate attorneys to back them.
That made the subpoena a lot easier on Brad Driver, commissioner of San Carlos AYSO. Still, he said, “whether it’s San Carlos United or AYSO, it still costs money and man hours and resources.
“SAYSO is causing a lot of issues for a number of the cities,” Driver continued. “Unfortunately it’s a part of suburban life when you’re trying to get field space.”