Ajit Thind’s practice includes both litigation and transactional matters, on behalf of public agencies and private entities. Ajit currently serves as the City Attorney for the City of La Palma and Assistant City Attorney for the City of Laguna Beach. He previously served as the Assistant City Attorney for the Cities of San Clemente and Menifee.
He has advised a wide variety of public agency clients on issues relating to both federal and state laws concerning open government, land use, civil rights, housing, water, environmental protection and labor/employment. His practice regularly involves advising clients on the Planning and Zoning Law, the California Environmental Quality Act, the Brown Act, the California Public Records Act, the Political Reform Act, and telecommunications laws.
Ajit has a wide-range of experience on municipal matters, with particular expertise in (i) land use and zoning litigation, (ii) civil rights, (iii) police misconduct cases (excessive force, search and seizure, etc.), and (iv) general tort defense (including employment, personal injury, dangerous condition, etc.). He has extensive experience at all stages of litigation and regularly appears in both trial and appellate courts. He is especially knowledgeable of governmental immunities, the California Tort Claims Act, and other municipal defenses.
Additionally, he regularly appears at city council meetings, planning commission meetings, and code enforcement proceedings. He has also assisted city clients by providing guidance concerning Civil Rights Laws and Constitutional matters.
A sample of Ajit’s recent work includes: successfully prosecuting a nuisance abatement action at an administrative hearing on behalf of a city client, successfully defended a local city and police officers in Section 1983 excessive force litigation, drafting a development agreement for a local public agency, assisting in the preparation of a housing element update for a city client, representing a property owner in resolving a code enforcement dispute, obtaining voluntary dismissal of a defendant public agency in a high-profile multi-million dollar tort action, and assisting in the settlement of complex telecommunications litigation against a city client.
Areas of Expertise
- Municipal and Government Agency Law
- Land Use and Development
- Civil Rights
- Co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of the League of California Cities and other related entities in the California Supreme Court case of T-Mobile West LLC et al., v. City and County of San Francisco et al.
- Represented city in lawsuit brought by telecommunications company that was denied permits to allow the installation of wireless facilities. The company sought several million dollars in damages but the city prevailed on summary judgment.
- Defended public entity in personal injury action due to a trip and fall. Successfully secured a judgment on the pleadings due to plaintiff’s noncompliance with the Government Claims Act.
- Defended public entity at multi-week trial on claim of inverse condemnation due to flood damage. Plaintiffs originally sought several million dollars in their complaint and client was held not liable.
- Represented police department in Second Amendment case brought by individual denied a concealed carry weapon permit. Case was disposed of on summary judgment.
- Represented an elderly individual in a landlord/tenant dispute on a pro bono basis. Obtained a very favorable settlement of several thousand dollars.
- Defended public entity on inverse condemnation and other claims brought by numerous homeowners. Achieved a very favorable settlement with some of the homeowners and obtained complete dismissals from the others.
- Successfully represented property owner at trial from claim of adverse possession brought by his neighbors.
- Successfully defended police officer and public entity in Section 1983 excessive force litigation. Case was disposed of on summary judgment.
Seminars & Courses
- ABCs of ADUs and Sacramento’s Rezoning of Single Family Residential Using SB 8, 9 and 10. Presented to the OCBA Real Estate Law Section, September 2021
- Interplay of Federal, State, and Local Health Emergency Orders, IMLA Webinar Co-Presenter, September 2020
- A Decade of RLUIPA: What We’ve Learned About Religious Freedom and Land Use. Presented to Rutan & Tucker’s Land Use and Natural Resources Practice Group, December 2011
- Vested Rights: When a Project Passes the Point of No Return. Presented to Rutan & Tucker’s Land Use and Natural Resources Practice Group, November 2012
- Land Use Case Law Update. Presented to Rutan & Tucker’s Land Use and Natural Resources Practice Group, May 2014
- Land Use Case Law Update. Presented to Rutan & Tucker’s Land Use and Natural Resources Practice Group, November 2016
News & Insights
Awards & Affiliations
Awards & Honors
- Southern California Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Edition, 2019
Memberships & Associations
- Public Law Center, Member of the Board of Directors
- Orange County Human Relations, Member of the Board of Directors
- Orange County Bar Association
- State Bar of California
- South Asian Bar Association
- Sikh Center of Orange County