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Court fight over seals on La Jolla beach may be finished

April 20, 2013|By Tony Perry
  • Visitors and harbor seals get a close look at each other at Children's Pool beach in La Jolla.
Visitors and harbor seals get a close look at each other at Children's… (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)

Maybe it's premature to say so, but there are indications that the two-decade court battle over seals lounging on a beach in La Jolla may be finished.

A San Diego Superior Court judge this week refused to order the city to shorten the rope barrier that protects the marine mammals at the Children's Pool beach from being harassed.

Judge Joel Pressman also refused to overturn an order by Mayor Bob Filner that the beach be closed to the public at night.

Pressman ruled that the state Legislature in 2009, by giving the City Council the right to declare the area a marine mammal habitat park, ended the dispute about whether the presence of the seals violates the original tidelands grant that gave priority to children for the use of the beach and tranquil water.

Also this week, yet another lawsuit filed by someone who feels the city has been too pro-seal was voluntarily withdrawn before trial.

"It's time for the lawyers to give the seals -- and the courts -- a breather," said City Atty. Jan Goldsmith.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

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