Case: Rodriguez v. California Highway Patrol

5:99-cv-20895 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Filed Date: June 3, 1999

Closed Date: 2006

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On June 3, 1999, Plaintiffs, represented by ACLU, filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California against the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement ("BNE"), alleging a policy, pattern and practice of targeting African-Americans and Latinos in conducting stops, detentions, interrogations and searches of motorists as part of a federally financed drug interdiction program know as ``Operation Pipeline.'' The co…

On June 3, 1999, Plaintiffs, represented by ACLU, filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California against the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement ("BNE"), alleging a policy, pattern and practice of targeting African-Americans and Latinos in conducting stops, detentions, interrogations and searches of motorists as part of a federally financed drug interdiction program know as ``Operation Pipeline.'' The complaint was amended to include the California Branches of the NAACP, the California League of United Latin American Citizens as plaintiffs and to seek class action status.

Defendants moved to dismiss on the basis that plaintiffs lacked standing and that the amended complaint failed to state a claim. Defendants also moved motion to sever plaintiffs from the case and/or strike the class action allegations.

On March 13, 2000, The District Court (Judge Jeremy Fogel) denied defendants' motion to dismiss in part and granted it in part, holding that plaintiffs adequately pled violations of Title VI, the Fourth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. Plaintiffs' state law claims were, however, dismissed on sovereign immunity grounds. Judge Fogel denied defendants' motion to sever plaintiffs and/or strike the class action allegations. Rodriguez v. California Highway Patrol, 89 F.Supp.2d 1131 (N.D.Cal. 2000).

Thereafter the parties engaged in discovery. The docket notes that numerous discovery and procedural motions were filed and plaintiffs' complaint was amended a total of five times. Motions and briefs relative to class certification were filed under seal.

On September 9, 2002, the District Court ordered the action stayed pending continued mediation by the parties. A settlement was reached in February, 2003 and its terms and conditions were approved by the court, along with the accompanying class notification requirements. The District Court dismissed the case with prejudice on June 3, 2003.

The terms of the settlement included:

• A prohibition of racial profiling and racial discrimination of any kind by CHP officers;

• A ban on consent searches of vehicles through 2006;

• Comprehensive data collection for each traffic stop including race, the reason for the stop, whether a search was conducted and the legal basis for the search, and the result of the stop and search;

• Creation of an Auditor to assist in the implementation of changes addressed by the settlement agreement. The Auditor reviewed and analyzed data collected by CHP, and provided input on training, data collection and policy implementation. The Auditor's findings were reported directly to the CHP Commissioner.

• Creation of a "racial profiling" category of citizens' complaints.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (1/8/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Fogel, Jeremy D. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Alexander, Michelle (California)

Fox, Michael J. (Washington)

Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California)

Streeter, Jon B. (California)

Sullivan, Rebecca K. (California)

Tigar, Jon Steven (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Inan, Michelle (California)

Lockyer, Bill (California)

Modlin, Craig (California)

Judge(s)

Fogel, Jeremy D. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Alexander, Michelle (California)

Fox, Michael J. (Washington)

Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California)

Streeter, Jon B. (California)

Sullivan, Rebecca K. (California)

Tigar, Jon Steven (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Inan, Michelle (California)

Lockyer, Bill (California)

Modlin, Craig (California)

Pon, Tyler B. (California)

Other Attorney(s)

Burton, Jocelyn (California)

Shapiro, David W. (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

5:99-cv-20895

Docket

June 12, 2003

June 12, 2003

Docket
27

5:99-cv-20895

First Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory Relief, Injunctive Relief and Damages; Demand for Jury

Nov. 30, 1999

Nov. 30, 1999

Complaint

5:99-cv-20895

ACLU and Coalition Groups File Suit Against CA Law Enforcement Agencies for Racial Profiling

No Court

Nov. 30, 1999

Nov. 30, 1999

Press Release
48

5:99-cv-20895

Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss, Denying Motion to Sever Plaintiffs and/or Strike Class Action Allegations and Denying Motion to Strike Portions of Pleading

89 F.Supp.2d 1131

March 13, 2000

March 13, 2000

Order/Opinion

CHP & ACLU Settle Three-Year Racial Profiling Dispute (Press Release)

No Court

Feb. 27, 2003

Feb. 27, 2003

Press Release

Notice of Class Action Settlement

Rodriguez v. California Highway Patrol

No Court

Feb. 27, 2003

Feb. 27, 2003

Notice Letter

In Landmark Racial Profiling Settlement, California Highway Patrol Agrees To Major Reforms (Press Release)

No Court

Feb. 27, 2003

Feb. 27, 2003

Press Release

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 11, 2022, 3:12 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Policing

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 3, 1999

Closing Date: 2006

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All Latinos and African Americans who are presently and in the future will be stopped while driving by the CHP and then detained, interrogated, or subjected to a search (either of person or vehicle) on any public thoroughfare.

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU of Northern California

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

California Highway Patrol , State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2003 - 2006

Issues

General:

Racial profiling

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination