Appeals judges: Anti-paparazzi law appears legal

January 31, 2013 - 9:31 PM
Bieber-Paparazzo

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2012 file photo, Justin Bieber accepts the award for favorite album - pop/rock for "Believe" at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards, in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles appellate panel wrote in a preliminary statement filed Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, that a 2010 California anti-paparazzi statute is constitutional. The law was used to charge a photographer for chasing Bieber last year, but a judge dismissed the anti-paparazzi counts in November 2012 because he said the law is overly broad and unconstitutional. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An appeals panel says California's anti-paparazzi statute appears to be constitutional based on a brief filed by prosecutors.

A preliminary statement by three judges in Los Angeles requires a judge who dismissed charges aimed at a paparazzo who authorities say was driving recklessly to review his order. The judge may stick to his ruling, which would trigger a full appeal, or he could schedule further arguments on the case against freelance photographer Paul Raef.

Raef was the first person charged under the new law after a high-speed chase involving Justin Bieber last year.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Rubinson dismissed two charges in November, ruling the law is too broad and is unconstitutional.

Raef's attorney David S. Kestenbaum says he is asking Rubinson to stand by his ruling and allow a full appeal.