Seals get another reprieve

The seals can stay at Children’s Pool, at least for now.

“The temporary restraining order of Oct. 22, 2008, prohibiting harassment or dispersal of the seal colony at the Children’s Pool remains in effect until further order of this court,” said U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes in a ruling issued Monday.

Responding to Hayes’ decision, the City Attorney’s office noted the city is caught in a judicial conflict: ordered to remove seals by the state court and to allow them to remain by the federal court.

“This underscores our position that the solution to this dilemma is through state legislation that allows the city to decide the use of this beach,” said the City Attorney’s office in a prepared statement. “Once adopted, this legislation will render the state court order moot. We believe it is prudent to put all litigation on hold pending the state of California’s action, as owner of this beach, to change the terms of the trust.”

Last week, state judge Yuri Hofmann had ordered the seals to be dispersed but rejected a plan for doing so submitted by city officials, asking them to return with a new plan June 15.