Yuba County and a local podcast host reached a negotiated agreement last week after the county had originally filed for a restraining order due to comments made by the host that the county deemed to be threatening toward Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu.
County personnel had requested the order against Lou Binninger for statements he made on a podcast that they believed advocated for violence against Luu.
In one example cited by the county from an April 10 podcast, Binninger said, “These people like Dr. Luu. Somebody should just smash her car, bust her up, and send her out of town. We need ... I’m telling you people, they’re gonna get ... you’re either gonna get them, or they are gonna get you,” according to court documents.
At a hearing on April 21, both sides met and discussed a stipulated order. That order was signed and filed to the court last week and the matter was settled on Friday.
A court hearing had been scheduled for Monday but was vacated after a settlement was reached. Included in the agreement are the following terms:
The agreement does not represent an admission of liability or fault by either party; Binninger will not make threats of violence directed at and/or call for others to carry out acts of violence against Luu whether in writing, traditional media, or on any podcast; Binninger will edit portions of his podcasts cited in court documents and the remainder of those podcasts will remain posted; Binninger will not follow or stalk Luu during work hours or to and from her place of work; the order does not prevent Binninger from attending public meetings or accessing public services; Binninger’s First Amendment rights are not limited; and the court will have jurisdiction to enforce the stipulated settlement and order.
The order will remain in effect and be enforceable for one year, according to court documents. Yuba County Superior Court Judge Stephen Berrier signed the order on Friday.