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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 Municipal 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/CFRA 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.

UPDATE: California Supreme Court rules against Local Agencies- Local Agencies Cannot Recover Costs of Redacting Video Footage under the Public Records Act

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenMatthew Lear-

June 2020Number 46The California Supreme Court has reversed the judgment of the First District Court of Appeal in National Lawyer Guild v. City of Hayward (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 937, holding that the California Public Records Act (CPRA) does not allow local agencies to charge requesters for the cost of redacting digital video footage. The Appellate Court had previously held that the City of Hayward was entitled to reimbursement of costs associated with redactions of exempt body camera footage ...

Industrial Disability Retirement May Still Be Considered a Constructive Discharge

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenLindsey Zwicker-

May 2020Number 34On January 28, 2020, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District revived a former California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer’s claims that he was forced to quit because he is openly gay. In Brome v. California Highway Patrol, the Court of Appeal held that a workers’ compensation claim could extend the statute of limitations for filing a complaint of discrimination and that an industrial disability retirement could still be considered a constructiv...

Public Agencies Must Disclose All Public Documents Regardless of the Record’s Origin

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenMatthew Lear-

April 2020Number 25In Becerra v. Superior Court of San Francisco, California's First District Court of Appeal broadened the definition of documents that public agencies must provide pursuant to a request made under the Public Records Act (PRA), to include records in the possession of the agency regardless of the record's origin. The court held that the PRA "generally requires disclosure of all responsive records in the possession of the Department, regardless whether the records pertain to of...

CARES Act – Federal Funding for COVID-19 Prevention

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenWesley Carlson-

April 2020Number 24In the midst of the emergency surrounding the novel coronavirus and its associated respiratory disease (COVID-19), the federal government passed a two trillion dollar spending bill. The bill, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, includes funding assistance in the form of direct tax rebate payments to individuals and couples, increased unemployment benefits, loans for small businesses, student loan payment deferral, and the expansion...

Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Temporary Employer-Paid Sick Leave and Employer-Paid FMLA Leave for Childcare

By: Gabriela FlowersJenell Van BindsbergenKate Holding-

March 2020Number 17In response to the nationwide economic disruption and uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, Congress passed, and the President signed, the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act" (H.R. 6201), which became law on March 18, 2020. While H.R. 6201 provides federal assistance in a range of areas, this Client News Brief focuses on relief provided by H.R. 6201 in the form of employer-paid sick leave for individuals and families unable to work due to the virus or its ...

AB 101 And SB 330: The Juggernauts Of The 2019 Housing Laws

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenJames McCann-

December 2019Number 76During the 2019 legislative season, upwards of 20 housing bills were passed, all with the purpose of addressing California’s affordable housing crisis. Chief among these bills were Assembly Bill (AB) 101 and Senate Bill (SB) 330, each of which, in different ways, will likely have a significant impact on the discretion exercised by local jurisdictions over how their housing elements are carried out and in their approval of housing developments. Below is a high-level ove...

New Law Requires All School Security Officers To Receive POST Training

By: Jenell Van Bindsbergen-

November 2019Number 68Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 390 on October 2, 2019. The bill will take effect on July 1, 2021. SB 390 will require all school security officers employed by a school district, charter school, county office of education, or community college district to complete a course of training developed by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs in consultation with the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P...

Law Enforcement Agencies May Disclose Officer Information To Prosecutors

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenMatthew Lear-

October 2019 Number 60 The California Supreme Court has decided the case of Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs v. Superior Court, concluding that the Pitchess statutes permit law enforcement agencies to disclose information to the prosecutor about an officer who is a witness in a prosecution case, where the officer has exonerating or impeaching material in their personnel file. Background In 1963, the U. S. Supreme Court, decided the case of Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83, ho...

AB 392 Changes Use of Force Standards

By: Jenell Van BindsbergenJunaid Halani-

October 2019Number 47Governor Gavin Newsom has signed the California Act to Save Lives (AB 392) into law. AB 392 modifies the standards surrounding the use of deadly force by Police and other peace officers in the line of duty.California Penal Code section 196, enacted in 1872, was the single oldest un-amended law enforcement use of force statute in the country. This Penal Code section provided that killing by police was justifiable when necessarily committed when arresting or retaking felons...

The United States Supreme Court Again Confronts The Reach Of The Establishment Clause

By: Sloan SimmonsJenell Van Bindsbergen-

September 2019Number 40In American Legion, et al. v. American Humanist Association, et al., the United States Supreme Court, by split decision, ruled that a World War I memorial in Prince George's County, Maryland, consisting of a cross, did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits the government from establishing an official religion or favoring one religion over another.In 1918, residents of Prince George's County formed ...

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

By: Jenell Van Bindsbergen-

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 Bindsbergen-

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 Bindsbergen-

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 Bindsbergen-

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...

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.

The New Year Brings A Huge Wave of Affordable Housing Legislation: What Does It All Mean for California Cities?

By: Jenell Van Bindsbergen-

Host Devon Lincoln talks with William P. Curley III and Jenell Van Bindsbergen, co-chairs of the firm’s Municipal Practice Group, about the unprecedented crush of affordable housing legislation enacted by the California Legislature in 2019. The team discusses what the new laws mean for city governments, and how the legislation strikes at local control and other issues of importance to local municipalities.

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.