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Jenell  Van Bindsbergen

Partner | Fresno

More from Jenell  Van Bindsbergen


More from Jenell  Van Bindsbergen


More from Jenell  Van Bindsbergen

Tel: 559.431.5600
Fax: 559.261.9366
Vcard   | Bio


Jenell Van Bindsbergen is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Fresno office and co-chair of the firm's Local Government Practice Group. In addition to local government and labor and employment issues, she is also experienced with matters relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Pitchess motions, OSHA matters, code enforcement, harassment, and discrimination issues, layoffs, administrative and court trials for certificated, civil service and classified dismissals, public safety and grievance issues.

Ms. Van Bindsbergen has practiced law on behalf of public agencies for more than 20 years. She is an experienced litigator on behalf of public agencies and has 20 years of experience representing Fresno County area cities. She provides a full range of legal advice and services in all aspects of municipal, finance and public agency law. She represents both municipal agencies and school districts in personnel and safety compliance litigation.

In addition to attending city council meetings and advising city councils with regard to legal matters affecting their cities, Ms. Van Bindsbergen has worked with police departments on Pitchess motions, POBR/FOBR issues, records, personnel matters, policy updates, search warrants and other code enforcement issues. Ms. Van Bindsbergen has represented police and fire departments on personnel matters including litigation, implementation of personnel policies, bids for departmental purchases, and implementation of the Police Officer Bill of Rights and Fire Fighter Procedural Bill of Rights.

Additional Experience

She has organized and litigated many cases including preparation of complaints, answers, correspondence, mediation/arbitration, summary judgments, motions and all phases of discovery, interaction with clients and co-counsel, statute calendaring, trial preparation and trial. Ms. Van Bindsbergen has also represented various cities and school districts in matters of ADA, FMLA/EFRA and other personnel matters.


Ms. Van Bindsbergen received her J.D. from the San Joaquin College of Law in 1996. She earned a B.A. in History from California State University, Fresno, in 1992. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 1997. Ms. Van Bindsbergen has received certification through ATIXA as a participant in Level 1 and Level 3 ATIXA Civil Rights Investigator Trainings.


She is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, Northern, Eastern and Central Districts. Ms. Van Bindsbergen is a member of the League of California Cities and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Police Officer’s Pre-Promotion Conduct Could Be Basis to Rescind Promotion

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenMichele Lyons-

July 2019Number 35On June 14, 2019 the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District issued its opinion in Conger v. County of Los Angeles, finding that denying a police officer's promotion because of his conduct prior to the promotion, was not a violation of his rights and was instead a legitimate merit-based decision.In November 2015, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department promoted Sergeant Thomas L. Conger to the rank of lieutenant, a position subject to a six-month pro...

Supreme Court Says Plaintiffs In Law Enforcement First Amendment Retaliation Cases Must Prove No Probable Cause For Arrest

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenSloan SimmonsRyan Harrison, Sr.-

July 2019Number 31Once a year, deep in the Alaskan wilderness, twelve thousand "snow hippies" exercise their right to party. Law enforcement officers chaperone them at a ratio of ten thousand to seven. At "Arctic Man," not to be confused with "Burning Man," there is a blizzard of skiers, snowmobilers, and bonfires. According to the popular sports blogging network SB Nation, "Arctic Man is a weeklong, booze and fossil-fueled Sledneck Revival bookended around the world's craziest ski race." Fro...

First Published Case On Issues Raised By SB 1421, Which Requires The Disclosure Of Certain Police Records

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenMatthew Lear-

May 2019Number 24The California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District recently handed down a decision denying Walnut Creek Police Officers' Association's request to stay the enforcement of a February 2019 Superior Court ruling which allowed for the release police records pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 1421. SB 1421 went into effect on January 1, 2019, amending portions of Penal Code section 832.7 to allow for the disclosure of certain police misconduct records and records related to ...

PERB Decision Provides Guidance Addressing “Public Hearing” Requirement

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenMeera Bhatt-

March 2019Number 17 In a recent decision, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) addressed the public hearing requirement an agency must satisfy before implementing its last, best, and final offer (LBFO), after completing applicable impasse procedures. In City of Yuba City (2018) PERB Dec. No. 2603-M, PERB upheld an administrative law judge decision dismissing an unfair practice charge brought against the City of Yuba City (City) by Public Employees Union Local 1 (Local 1) alleging viol...

New Laws Restrict Law Enforcement Agencies’ Right to Withhold Recordings Relating to “Critical Incidents”

By: Jenell Van Bindsbergen-

October 2018Number 60After years of failed attempts, the Legislature has passed, and Governor Brown has signed into law, two bills that remove the longstanding layers of protection and confidentiality for certain law enforcement records. Senate Bill (SB) 1421, which becomes effective January 1, 2019, increases public access to certain records relating to allegations of misconduct by law enforcement. Assembly Bill (AB) 748, effective July 1, 2019, subjects body camera footage to public records...

Court Limits Enforcement of Public Sleeping Ordinances

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenWesley Carlson-

September 2018Number 50A federal appeals court has held that a city could not enforce local ordinances that prohibit homeless persons from sleeping outside when shelter is not available. Municipalities with similar ordinances may be affected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in Martin v. City of Boise.BackgroundAt a time when homelessness is an issue that cities and counties are increasingly called to address, a common trend is to prohibit sleeping and camping on the sidewalk, i...

Mayor-Sponsored Pension Reform Ballot Measure Triggered Meet and Confer Requirement, Court Rules

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenMeera Bhatt-

August 2018Number 43When a public official with responsibility for labor relations sponsors a ballot measure affecting workers' terms and conditions of employment, the duty to meet and confer arises, the California Supreme Court recently ruled. (Boling v. Public Employment Relations Board)BackgroundIn 2010, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders developed a citizen's initiative to eliminate traditional pensions for new hires. Sanders told the press that his purpose for pursuing pension reform through ...

Public Entities May Rely on Claimant’s False Representations of Timeliness on Claim Forms

By: Jenell Van Bindsbergen-

August 2018Number 41In Estill v. County of Shasta, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a public entity has no duty under the Government Claims Act to advise a claimant that they may seek leave to file a late claim within 45 days, where the claim appears to be timely on its face.BackgroundRenee Estill, a former employee of the Shasta County Sherriff's Office, submitted a government claim form to Shasta County on February 23, 2012. In the claim form, she alleged that her coworkers discussed a co...

New Law Requires Legal Consult Prior to Custodial Interrogation of Minor under Age 16

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenLeila Alamri-Kassim-

November 2017 Number 78 Beginning January 1, 2018, minors under the age of 16 must consult with legal counsel prior to a custodial interrogation and before waiving their Miranda rights. Existing law requires a peace officer to advise minors of their rights by providing a Miranda warning. But if the minor or parent waives those rights, officers can interrogate the minor. Senate Bill (SB) 395, which adds section 625.6 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, will prohibit a law enforcement ...

California Supreme Court Holds Disclosure Is the Rule, Not the Exception, in Public Record Requests

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenAlyse Pacheco Nichols-

October 2017 Number 59 Automated license plate reader (ALPR) scan data is not subject to the "records of investigation" exemption under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), the California Supreme Court has ruled. The Court, however, did not foreclose the ability to withhold such information if it would invade an individual's privacy. In American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Aug. 31, 2017, No S227106) ___ Cal.5th ____, the Co...

Despite Marijuana Industry Efforts, Local Control Survives

By: Jenell Van Bindsbergen-

August 2017 Number 48 Eight months after California voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized adult use of recreational marijuana in California, Governor Jerry Brown signed a new bill that will facilitate the issuance of marijuana business licenses beginning in January 2018. Despite marijuana industry efforts to minimize local government regulation, the new bill guarantees continued local agencies' control over marijuana operations in their jurisdictions. The primary thrust of Se...

Proposition 64: Legal and Practical Considerations

By: Dulcinea GranthamJenell Van Bindsbergen-

December 2016 Number 87 On November 8, 2016, California voters passed the "Control, Regulation and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act" ("Prop. 64"), legalizing recreational marijuana use for those 21 years old and older. The new law, effective immediately, among many other provisions does the following related to marijuana: Establishes a regulatory scheme for cultivation, distribution, sale, testing and use; Allows for personal cultivation of up to six plants inside a private home; P...

California Agencies May Now Have Their Code Enforcement Officers Certified

By: David WolfeJenell Van BindsbergenWilliam Curley IIINicholas Felahi-

September 2016 Number 64 The Governor recently signed Assembly Bill 2228, establishing a program for California code enforcement officers to become certified. The purpose of the program, which is voluntary, is to provide a mechanism for code enforcement officers to become trained in the substantive law and legal processes affecting their duties while also reducing the risk of liability for the agency. The program will ensure uniform and consistent training throughout the state, increasing...

Significant Cases

  • In Govan v. City of Clovis, Lozano Smith successfully obtained dismissal of several constitutional and other statutory claims asserted by a plaintiff business operator against the City of Clovis individual City police officers, where the plaintiff challenged the City of Clovis' sign ordinance and its enforcement.

  • In City of Clovis Police Department v. The Superior Court of Fresno County Appellate Division, California Court of Appeal Case No. F07085, Lozano Smith successfully defended the City after a defendant appealed a ruling from the trial court denying an in camera review for failure to meet the standards required under California Evidence Code section 1043 and Pitchess. Following approval of the Defendants appeal by the Superior Court Appellate Division, Lozano Smith filed a writ of mandate with the 5th District Appellate Court, on behalf of the City, alleging various procedural errors and misapplication of the law. The 5th District Court found good cause to vacate the Superior Court Appellate Division Order.

Police in Schools – The Role of a School Resource Officer

By: Devon LincolnThomas MannielloJenell Van Bindsbergen-

The role of law enforcement officers on school campuses is not well understood. Devon Lincoln is joined by attorney Tom Manniello, an expert in student discipline issues and discipline reform, and Jenell Van Bindsbergen, an attorney specializing in working with police officers and police departments. In a wide ranging discussion, the panelists lay out the complex issues that come up when an officer polices a school campus.