Case: United States of America v. County of Los Angeles

2:15-cv-03174 | U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Filed Date: April 28, 2015

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division initiated a civil investigation of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department on August 19, 2011. The investigation focused on allegations of unconstitutional conduct by deputies at two stations located in the Antelope Valley cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, California. The DOJ proceeded under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,42 U.S.C. § 14141 (Section 14141), and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,42 U.S.C. § 2000d…

The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division initiated a civil investigation of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department on August 19, 2011. The investigation focused on allegations of unconstitutional conduct by deputies at two stations located in the Antelope Valley cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, California. The DOJ proceeded under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,42 U.S.C. § 14141 (Section 14141), and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,42 U.S.C. § 2000d (Title VI). These laws authorize the United States to file a legal action when it has reasonable cause to believe that a law enforcement agency engages in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or laws of the United States. In addition, the investigation was also founded on the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601–3631.

On June 28, 2013, the Civil Rights Division issued a findings letter to the LASD. The letter explained that the DOJ found that LASD's Antelope Valley stations engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory and otherwise unlawful searches and seizures, including the use of unreasonable force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment and Title VI. The DOJ found, as well, that deputies assigned to these stations had engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African Americans in violation of the Fair Housing Act, by targeting certain residents who possessed housing vouchers.

Although the County denied the allegation of unconstitutional conduct, simultaneous to the findings letter being made public, the parties entered a "statement of intent" to reach a comprehensive settlement agreement to be negotiated between the County of Los Angeles and the U.S. The statement of intent explained that "[t]he Agreement to be negotiated is intended to ensure that: 1) LASD personnel in the Antelope Valley engage in practices that comply with the Constitution and laws of the United States; and 2) the objectives of LASD's Core Values and Trust-Based Policing program are realized in the Antelope Valley community." The "statement of intent" indicated that the parties intended to reach a final settlement agreement by August 30, 2013.

Settlement negotiations took quite a bit longer. It was not until April 28, 2015, that the Department of Justice filed this lawsuit and its proposed settlement agreement. The case was filed in the U.S. Federal District Court for the Central District of California.

Per the complaint, the DOJ brought this action under the Violent Crime Control and Enforcement Act (42 U.S.C. § 14141) and Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act as amended by the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. § 3601). The DOJ alleged that the County violated the Fourteenth Amendment and the Fair Housing Act by engaging in the conduct described in its June 2013 letter. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the County:

(a) detained individuals without legal authority

(b) engaged in a pattern of unreasonable force in violation of the 14th amendment

(c) stopped and searched African American and Latino residents on impermissible considerations of race and ethnicity in violation of the 14th amendment

(d) violated the Fair Housing Act by targeting African American residents participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program

(e) failed to create adequate accountability systems to curb unlawful policing

The DOJ requested declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and damages.

Under the terms of the settlement, filed the same day, within four years the County would:

(a) create procedures to stop the practice of and detect discriminatory stops, searches, and seizures, as well as training on appropriate practices and the terms of the Settlement Agreement

(b) ensure bias-free policing through training and monitoring of its practices across the County

(c) create and implement a housing non-discrimination policy, as well as a mechanism for documenting all incidents involving voucher holders

(d) enhance its data collection, analysis, and reporting methods to better assess its programs and improvement

(e) enhance community engagement through increased transparency and community feedback mechanisms

(f) revise its policies on use of force to encourage alternatives and de-escalation, prohibit certain actions, promote reporting on all incidents of use of force, and provide for supervision, training, and analysis

(g) create and implement policies to ensure accountability through personnel complaint review procedures, analysis of personnel data, and mentorship; and

(h) comply with stipulated monitoring requirements and assessment procedures.

Further, the Settlement required the County to pay $700,000 to those harmed by its violations of the Fair Housing Act and $25,000 in civil penalties. It created two categories of individuals harmed. Individuals within Category 1 could receive between $1000 and $10,000 in damages. Those within Category 2 could receive between $5000 and $20,000.

The Court approved the settlement agreement on May 1, 2015 and a supplemental settlement agreement on July 21, 2015. The supplemental agreement established the terms and schedule for awarding damages to individuals harmed by the County's violation of the Fair Housing Act.

On May 24, 2017, the parties filed a joint stipulation to amend the settlement order. After searching for individuals who fell within the two categories created by the settlement, they determined that more individuals would qualify under Category 2. The amendment reduced the low end of the range of potential damages awarded to $3000 to ensure that more individuals would receive damages. The court approved the amendment on May 25.

The court retained jurisdiction over the settlement's enforcement, with the case set to close a year after LASD reached full compliance. As of the thirteenth semi-annual report issued by the monitor in December 2021, LASD had continued to make considerable progress toward, but had not yet achieved, full compliance.

Summary Authors

Marcy Blattner (4/5/2015)

Virginia Weeks (1/23/2017)

Amanda Stephens (4/2/2019)

Jack Hibbard (6/9/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7260448/parties/united-states-v-the-county-of-los-angeles/


Judge(s)

Mumm, Frederick F. (California)

Walter, John F. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)

Coe, Cynthia (District of Columbia)

Coromelas, Acrivi (California)

Friel, Gregory (District of Columbia)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Hagler, Tamar (District of Columbia)

Hart, Charles W. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Hayat, Norrinda B. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Mumm, Frederick F. (California)

Walter, John F. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)

Coe, Cynthia (District of Columbia)

Coromelas, Acrivi (California)

Friel, Gregory (District of Columbia)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Hagler, Tamar (District of Columbia)

Hart, Charles W. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Hayat, Norrinda B. (District of Columbia)

Hull, Joanna Berney (California)

Kappelhoff, Mark (District of Columbia)

Ladewski, Kathryn (District of Columbia)

Leung, Michelle (District of Columbia)

Lopez, Christy (District of Columbia)

Lynch, Loretta (New York)

Monteleone, Robyn-Marie L (California)

Pagnucco, Carrie (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Preston, Judith (Judy) C. (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Weidman, Leon W. (California)

Yonekura, Stephanie (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Granbo, Roger H. (California)

Saladino, Mark J. (California)

Wickham, Mary C. (California)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Brann, Joseph (California)

Wolf, Angie (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:15-cv-03174

Docket [PACER]

United States v. County of Los Angeles

Jan. 24, 2020

Jan. 24, 2020

Docket

Justice Department Opens Investigation into the Antelope Valley Stations of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

[Antelope Valley Stations - Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department]

No Court

Aug. 19, 2011

Aug. 19, 2011

Press Release

Statement of Intent

DOJ Investigation of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Stations in Antelope Valley

No Court

June 27, 2013

June 27, 2013

Settlement Agreement

Re: Investigation of Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department Stations in Antelope Valley

DOJ Investigation of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Stations in Antelope Valley

No Court

June 28, 2013

June 28, 2013

Findings Letter/Report

2:15-cv-03174

Resumen de la Carta de Hallazgos del Valle de Antelope [Findings Letter (Spanish)]

DOJ Investigation of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Stations in Antelope Valley

No Court

Nov. 19, 2013

Nov. 19, 2013

Findings Letter/Report

Justice Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Agree to Policing Reforms and Settlement of Police-Related Fair Housing Claims in the Antelope Valley

[Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department]

No Court

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

Press Release
4

2:15-cv-03174

Settlement Agreement

United States v. County of Los Angeles

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

Settlement Agreement
1

2:15-cv-03174

Complaint

United States v. County of Los Angeles

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

Complaint
14

2:15-cv-03174

Stipulation and Order Approving Settlement Agreement and Order of Resolution and Entry of Judgment

United States v. County of Los Angeles

May 1, 2015

May 1, 2015

Order/Opinion
17

2:15-cv-03174

Order Approving Supplemental Settlement Agreement

United States v. County of Los Angeles

July 21, 2015

July 21, 2015

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7260448/united-states-v-the-county-of-los-angeles/

Last updated Aug. 16, 2022, 3:07 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
1

Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
1

Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
1

Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
2

Civil Cover Sheet (CV-71)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
2

Civil Cover Sheet (CV-71)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
2

Civil Cover Sheet (CV-71)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
2

Civil Cover Sheet (CV-71)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
3

Notice of Related Case(s)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
3

Notice of Related Case(s)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
3

Notice of Related Case(s)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
3

Notice of Related Case(s)

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
4

Settlement Agreement

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
4

Settlement Agreement

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
4

Settlement Agreement

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
4

Settlement Agreement

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
5

Stipulation for Order

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
5

Stipulation for Order

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
5

Stipulation for Order

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
5

Stipulation for Order

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

PACER
6

Notice of Assignment to United States Judges(CV-18) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

RECAP
6

Notice of Assignment to United States Judges(CV-18) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

RECAP
6

Notice of Assignment to United States Judges(CV-18) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

RECAP
6

Notice of Assignment to United States Judges(CV-18) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

RECAP
7

Notice to Parties of Court-Directed ADR Program (ADR-8) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
7

Notice to Parties of Court-Directed ADR Program (ADR-8) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
7

Notice to Parties of Court-Directed ADR Program (ADR-8) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
7

Notice to Parties of Court-Directed ADR Program (ADR-8) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
8

Pro Hac Vice Application Due (G-109) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
8

Pro Hac Vice Application Due (G-109) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
8

Pro Hac Vice Application Due (G-109) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
8

Pro Hac Vice Application Due (G-109) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
9

Pro Hac Vice Application Due (G-109) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
9

Pro Hac Vice Application Due (G-109) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
9

Pro Hac Vice Application Due (G-109) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
9

Pro Hac Vice Application Due (G-109) - optional html form

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
10

Order

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
10

Order

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
10

Order

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
10

Order

April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

PACER
11

Response to Notice of Fee Due on Pro Hac Vice Application

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
11

Response to Notice of Fee Due on Pro Hac Vice Application

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
11

Response to Notice of Fee Due on Pro Hac Vice Application

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
11

Response to Notice of Fee Due on Pro Hac Vice Application

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
12

Response to Notice of Fee Due on Pro Hac Vice Application

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
12

Response to Notice of Fee Due on Pro Hac Vice Application

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
12

Response to Notice of Fee Due on Pro Hac Vice Application

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
12

Response to Notice of Fee Due on Pro Hac Vice Application

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
13

Transfer Pursuant to GO 21-01 DECLINED- (related case)(CV-34)

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
13

Transfer Pursuant to GO 21-01 DECLINED- (related case)(CV-34)

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
13

Transfer Pursuant to GO 21-01 DECLINED- (related case)(CV-34)

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
13

Transfer Pursuant to GO 21-01 DECLINED- (related case)(CV-34)

April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

PACER
14

Order

May 1, 2015

May 1, 2015

PACER
14

Order

May 1, 2015

May 1, 2015

PACER
14

Order

May 1, 2015

May 1, 2015

PACER
14

Order

May 1, 2015

May 1, 2015

PACER
15

Stipulation for Order

July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

PACER
15

Stipulation for Order

July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

PACER
15

Stipulation for Order

July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

PACER
15

Stipulation for Order

July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

PACER
16

Settlement Agreement

July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

PACER
16

Settlement Agreement

July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

PACER
16

Settlement Agreement

July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

PACER
16

Settlement Agreement

July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

PACER
17

Order

July 21, 2015

July 21, 2015

PACER
17

Order

July 21, 2015

July 21, 2015

PACER
17

Order

July 21, 2015

July 21, 2015

PACER
17

Order

July 21, 2015

July 21, 2015

PACER
18

Stipulation for Extension of Time to File

Nov. 20, 2015

Nov. 20, 2015

PACER
18

Stipulation for Extension of Time to File

Nov. 20, 2015

Nov. 20, 2015

PACER
18

Stipulation for Extension of Time to File

Nov. 20, 2015

Nov. 20, 2015

PACER
18

Stipulation for Extension of Time to File

Nov. 20, 2015

Nov. 20, 2015

PACER
19

Order

Nov. 20, 2015

Nov. 20, 2015

PACER
19

Order

Nov. 20, 2015

Nov. 20, 2015

PACER
19

Order

Nov. 20, 2015

Nov. 20, 2015

PACER
19

Order

Nov. 20, 2015

Nov. 20, 2015

PACER
20

Report

Dec. 22, 2015

Dec. 22, 2015

PACER
20

Report

Dec. 22, 2015

Dec. 22, 2015

PACER
20

Report

Dec. 22, 2015

Dec. 22, 2015

PACER
20

Report

Dec. 22, 2015

Dec. 22, 2015

PACER
21

Report

June 22, 2016

June 22, 2016

PACER
21

Report

June 22, 2016

June 22, 2016

PACER
21

Report

June 22, 2016

June 22, 2016

PACER
21

Report

June 22, 2016

June 22, 2016

PACER
22

Report

Dec. 23, 2016

Dec. 23, 2016

PACER
22

Report

Dec. 23, 2016

Dec. 23, 2016

PACER
22

Report

Dec. 23, 2016

Dec. 23, 2016

PACER
22

Report

Dec. 23, 2016

Dec. 23, 2016

PACER
23

Notice of Appearance

Feb. 21, 2017

Feb. 21, 2017

PACER
23

Notice of Appearance

Feb. 21, 2017

Feb. 21, 2017

PACER
23

Notice of Appearance

Feb. 21, 2017

Feb. 21, 2017

PACER
23

Notice of Appearance

Feb. 21, 2017

Feb. 21, 2017

PACER
24

Notice of Appearance

May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017

PACER
24

Notice of Appearance

May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017

PACER
24

Notice of Appearance

May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017

PACER
24

Notice of Appearance

May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017

PACER
25

Notice of Appearance or Withdrawal of Counsel (G-123)

May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017

PACER
25

Notice of Appearance or Withdrawal of Counsel (G-123)

May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017

PACER
25

Notice of Appearance or Withdrawal of Counsel (G-123)

May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017

PACER
25

Notice of Appearance or Withdrawal of Counsel (G-123)

May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Policing

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 28, 2015

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Los Angeles County (Los Angeles), County

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.

34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Declaratory Judgment

Attorneys fees

Damages

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 725000

Order Duration: 2015 - None

Content of Injunction:

Auditing

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Discrimination Prohibition

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Monitor/Master

Monitoring

Provide antidiscrimination training

Recordkeeping

Reporting

Required disclosure

Training

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Excessive force

Failure to train

False arrest

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Language access/needs

Racial profiling

Search policies

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic