Case: Trujillo v. City of Ontario

5:04-cv-01015 | U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Filed Date: Aug. 13, 2004

Closed Date: 2009

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 13, 2004, employees of the Ontario Police Department filed suit against the City of Ontario, CA and the Ontario Police Department pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the 4th Amendment, California Constitution Article 1 § 1, and the common law tort of invasion of privacy. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and both private counsel and the ACLU of Southern California represented the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs alleged that the Police Department's …

On August 13, 2004, employees of the Ontario Police Department filed suit against the City of Ontario, CA and the Ontario Police Department pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the 4th Amendment, California Constitution Article 1 § 1, and the common law tort of invasion of privacy. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and both private counsel and the ACLU of Southern California represented the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs alleged that the Police Department's installation of a video camera in the men's locker room violated their privacy rights, and sought compensatory and punitive damages.

On April 14, 2005, the District Court (Judge Virginia Phillips) certified a class of all employees or volunteers at the Ontario Police Department who used the men's locker room during the time the video camera was installed and were recorded by the equipment. A year later, Judge Phillips ruled that the video camera installation violated the 4th amendment, and that issues of fact remained on the other two causes of action. 428 F. Supp. 2d 1094 (C.D. Cal. 2006). The defendants appealed the trial court's refusal to grant the officers qualified immunity, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed the trial court's denial of qualified immunity. 270 Fed. Appx. 518 (9th Cir. 2008). The case was set to proceed to trial.

On the morning of the scheduled first day of trial, the parties announced they had reached a settlement. On March 16, 2009 the plaintiffs moved for preliminary approval of the class action settlement; two months later, the court granted preliminary approval, pending consideration of any objections by class members.. Under the settlement Ontario paid $1.54 million to class members, and $1.21 million in attorneys' fees and costs. The settlement was "non-reversionary," meaning that even if only a few class members actually claimed the damages they were promised, Ontario was still obligated to pay the entire agreed-upon amount. On August 24, 2009, the court granted final approval of the settlement and dismissed the case with prejudice.

Summary Authors

Sharon Brett (11/20/2009)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5763271/parties/robert-bernhard-v-city-of-ontario/


Judge(s)

Leighton, Ronald B. (Washington)

Phillips, Virginia A. (California)

Pregerson, Harry (California)

Walsh, Patrick J. (California)

Wardlaw, Kim McLane (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bahan, Della (California)

Batra, Puja (District of Columbia)

Bibring, Peter (California)

Dammeier, Dieter C (California)

Eliasberg, Peter J. (California)

Judge(s)

Leighton, Ronald B. (Washington)

Phillips, Virginia A. (California)

Pregerson, Harry (California)

Walsh, Patrick J. (California)

Wardlaw, Kim McLane (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bahan, Della (California)

Batra, Puja (District of Columbia)

Bibring, Peter (California)

Dammeier, Dieter C (California)

Eliasberg, Peter J. (California)

McGill, Michael A (California)

Richardson, Anne (California)

Sainath, Radhika (California)

Stormer, Dan Lewis (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brustowicz, Celeste (California)

Disenhouse, Bruce E (California)

Martin, Linda Bernatz (California)

Rinos, Dimitrios C. (California)

Tundis, Mark John (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

5:04-cv-01015

Docket

Oct. 10, 2009

Oct. 10, 2009

Docket
4

5:04-cv-01015

First Amended Complaint for Damages

Oct. 28, 2004

Oct. 28, 2004

Complaint
20

5:04-cv-01015

Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification

April 14, 2005

April 14, 2005

Order/Opinion
92

5:04-cv-01015

Order Denying in Part and Granting in Part Plaintiffs' and Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment

428 F.Supp.2d 1094

April 14, 2006

April 14, 2006

Order/Opinion

06-56531

Order

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

269 Fed.Appx. 683, 2008 WL 681166

March 10, 2008

March 10, 2008

Order/Opinion
110

5:04-cv-01015

06-55736

Opinion - Affirming District Court's Denial of Immunity

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

270 Fed.Appx. 518, 2008 WL 687352

April 7, 2008

April 7, 2008

Order/Opinion
114

5:04-cv-01015

06-55736

Order re: interim attorneys fees

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

May 13, 2008

May 13, 2008

Order/Opinion
237-2

5:04-cv-01015

Exhibit 1 to Motion for Settlement

March 16, 2009

March 16, 2009

Settlement Agreement
237

5:05-cv-01015

Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement

March 16, 2009

March 16, 2009

Pleading / Motion / Brief
258-2

5:04-cv-01015

Joint Stipulation of Class Action Settlement and Release

May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5763271/robert-bernhard-v-city-of-ontario/

Last updated July 19, 2022, 3:06 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
298

ORDER by Judge Virginia A. Phillips GRANTING Final Approval of Settlement 283 . (gg)

Aug. 24, 2009

Aug. 24, 2009

RECAP
299

JUDGMENT by Judge Virginia A. Phillips. IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Plaintiffs' entire action is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The Court orders that such judgment be entered. (MD JS-6, Case Terminated). (gg)

Aug. 24, 2009

Aug. 24, 2009

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 13, 2004

Closing Date: 2009

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Employees of City of Ontario Police Department

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU of Southern California

Hadsell, Stormer & Renick

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

City of Ontario (Ontario, San Bernardino), City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2006 - 0