Case: Brown v. District of Columbia

1:13-cv-00686 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: May 13, 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 13, 2013, a woman filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the city, the Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and the mayor of the District of Columbia under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution. The plaintiff, represented by a public defender service, alleged that her due process rights were violated when her car was indefinitely seized by the MPD, without providing her with a prompt, …

On May 13, 2013, a woman filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the city, the Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and the mayor of the District of Columbia under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution. The plaintiff, represented by a public defender service, alleged that her due process rights were violated when her car was indefinitely seized by the MPD, without providing her with a prompt, neutral hearing to challenge the seizure of her property. The plaintiff further alleged that others similarly situated suffer from the defendant's failure to provide a prompt, neutral test for the validity of the seizure. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that indigent vehicles owners suffer because a "penal sum" that many indigent vehicle owners cannot afford is required to challenge the police seizure.

On April 4, 2013, the plaintiff's car was seized after police officers allegedly found two empty firearm magazines inside a pocketbook that was inside of the car. The plaintiff received a letter on April 22, 2013, stating that her car would be forfeited unless she paid a "penal sum" of $1,962 to challenge the police seizure in court. If the penal sum is not paid the police are allowed to sell seized vehicles and retain the proceeds. Thus, the plaintiff argued, D.C.'s profitable and self-interested civil forfeiture scheme denies persons in plaintiff's position their right to procedural due process under the Fifth Amendment.

On August 16, 2013, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle granted the defendants' motion to stay the proceeding. The motion was entered after the plaintiff's car was returned to her and the parties agreed to work together through informal channels to return seized vehicles to the owners of other vehicles seized by the MPD. By this time, legislation was pending that addressed the constitutional problems that the plaintiff alleged in her complaint, and the parties agreed to suspend litigation until the bill passes (or fails to pass).

On June 29, 2015, defendants filed a consent motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction based on the fact that the Congressional review period ended for pending legislation. The Civil Asset Forfeiture Amendment Act of 2014 provides prompt post-deprivation retention hearings, eliminates cost bonds, and all money from civil forfeitures will now go the D.C. General Fund instead of MPD, rendering the plaintiff's allegations of constitutional violations moot. On June 29, 2015, Judge Ellen S. Huvelle signed the order and dismissed the case with prejudice.

Summary Authors

Daniel Fryer (1/18/2016)

People


Judge(s)

Huvelle, Ellen Segal (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cobb, Jenna Marie (District of Columbia)

Henderson, Sonam Alexander H. (District of Columbia)

Karakatsanis, Alec (District of Columbia)

Leighton, Julia Loveland (District of Columbia)

Mikkilineni, Tara (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Copeland, Chad Wayne (District of Columbia)

Efros, Ellen A. (District of Columbia)

Feldon, Gary Daniel (District of Columbia)

Gere, Elizabeth Sarah (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Huvelle, Ellen Segal (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cobb, Jenna Marie (District of Columbia)

Henderson, Sonam Alexander H. (District of Columbia)

Karakatsanis, Alec (District of Columbia)

Leighton, Julia Loveland (District of Columbia)

Mikkilineni, Tara (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Copeland, Chad Wayne (District of Columbia)

Efros, Ellen A. (District of Columbia)

Feldon, Gary Daniel (District of Columbia)

Gere, Elizabeth Sarah (District of Columbia)

Graham, Grace (District of Columbia)

Jackson, Toni Michelle (District of Columbia)

Nathan, Irvin B (District of Columbia)

Racine, Karl A. (Maryland)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:13-cv-00686

Docket

June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

Docket
1

1:13-cv-00686

Class Action Complaint

May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

Complaint
21

1:13-cv-00686

Consent Motion to Stay

Aug. 16, 2013

Aug. 16, 2013

Pleading / Motion / Brief
22

1:13-cv-00686

Order

Aug. 16, 2013

Aug. 16, 2013

Order/Opinion
33

1:13-cv-00686

Consent Motion to Dismiss

June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 24, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090−3321453) filed by KRYSTLE BROWN. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration)(Karakatsanis, Alec) (Entered: 05/13/2013)

May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

2

CIVIL COVER SHEET by KRYSTLE BROWN filed by KRYSTLE BROWN.(Karakatsanis, Alec) (Entered: 05/13/2013)

May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

3

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by KRYSTLE BROWN (Karakatsanis, Alec) (Entered: 05/13/2013)

May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

4

MOTION to Certify Class by KRYSTLE BROWN (Karakatsanis, Alec) (Entered: 05/13/2013)

May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

6

REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE Vincent Gray, Mayor by KRYSTLE BROWN filed by KRYSTLE BROWN.(Karakatsanis, Alec) (Entered: 05/13/2013)

May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

7

REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE Cathy Lanier, Chief of Police by KRYSTLE BROWN filed by KRYSTLE BROWN.(Karakatsanis, Alec) (Entered: 05/13/2013)

May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

Case Assigned to Judge Ellen S. Huvelle. (sth) (Entered: 05/14/2013)

May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

8

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS (3) Issued as to DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER, District of Columbia Attorney General, and the District of Columbia Mayor. (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(sth) (Entered: 05/14/2013)

May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013

9

NOTICE of Appearance by Tara Mikkilineni on behalf of KRYSTLE BROWN (Mikkilineni, Tara) (Entered: 05/15/2013)

May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013

10

NOTICE of Appearance by Julia Loveland Leighton on behalf of KRYSTLE BROWN (Leighton, Julia) (Entered: 05/15/2013)

May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013

11

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on the Mayor of the District of Columbia. Date of Service Upon the Mayor for the District of Columbia on 05/15/2013. (Karakatsanis, Alec) (Entered: 05/15/2013)

May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013

12

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the District of Columbia Attorney General. Date of Service Upon District of Columbia Attorney General 5/15/2013. Answer due for ALL D.C. DEFENDANTS by 6/5/2013. (Karakatsanis, Alec) (Entered: 05/15/2013)

May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013

13

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. KRYSTLE BROWN served on 5/15/2013 (Karakatsanis, Alec) (Entered: 05/15/2013)

May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013

14

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 3 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction , 4 MOTION to Certify Class , MOTION to Stay re 3 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction , 1 Complaint, 4 MOTION to Certify Class by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 05/20/2013)

May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

15

NOTICE of Appearance by Gary Daniel Feldon on behalf of All Defendants (Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 05/20/2013)

May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

MINUTE ORDER granting 14 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply and granting 14 Motion to Stay Defendants' Response to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction: Upon consideration of Defendants' consent motion to stay proceedings, and upon lack ofopposition thereto, it is HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' motion be GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that Defendants shall respond to Plaintiff's Class Action Complaint and Motion for Class Certification no later than June 29, 2013; and it is further ORDERED that Defendants shall respond to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction no later than June 17, 2013, unless withdrawn or further stayed. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on 5/20/13. (lcesh1) (Entered: 05/20/2013)

May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer to complaint and response to motion for class certification due by 6/29/2013. Response to motion for preliminary injunction due by 6/17/2013. (zmm, ) (Entered: 05/21/2013)

May 21, 2013

May 21, 2013

16

NOTICE of Appearance by Sonam Alexander H. Henderson on behalf of KRYSTLE BROWN (Henderson, Sonam) (Entered: 05/31/2013)

May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013

17

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 3 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction , 4 MOTION to Certify Class , Complaint by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 06/17/2013)

June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013

Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer complaint and response to motion for class certification due by 7/15/2013. Response to plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction due by 7/1/2013. (zmm, ) (Entered: 06/18/2013)

June 18, 2013

June 18, 2013

18

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 3 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction , 4 MOTION to Certify Class , and 1 COMPLAINT by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 06/27/2013)

June 27, 2013

June 27, 2013

MINUTE ORDER granting 18 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Response: Upon consideration of Defendants' consent motion to stay proceedings, and upon lack of opposition thereto, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendants' motion be GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that Defendants shall respond to Plaintiff's Class Action Complaint and Motion for Class Certification no later than July 29, 2013; and it is further ORDERED that Defendants shall respond to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction no later than July 15, 2013, unless withdrawn or further stayed. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on 7/1/13. (lcesh1) (Entered: 07/01/2013)

July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer to Complaint and Response to Motion for Class Certification due by 7/29/2013. Response to Motion for Preliminary Injunction due by 7/15/2013. (zmm, ) (Entered: 07/02/2013)

July 2, 2013

July 2, 2013

19

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 3 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction , 4 MOTION to Certify Class by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 07/11/2013)

July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013

MINUTE ORDER granting 19 Consent Motion for Extension of Time: Upon consideration of Defendants' consent motion to stay proceedings, and upon lack of opposition thereto, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendants' motion be GRANTED; it is further ORDERED that Defendants shall respond to Plaintiff's Class Action Complaint and Motion for Class Certification no later than August 5, 2013; and it is further ORDERED that Defendants shall respond to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction no later than August 19, 2013, unless withdrawn or further stayed. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on July 12, 2013. (AG) (Entered: 07/12/2013)

July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013

Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer to complaint and response to motion for class certification due by 8/5/2013. Response to motion for preliminary injunction due by 8/19/2013 unless withdrawn or further stayed. (mm, ) (Entered: 07/15/2013)

July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

20

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 3 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction , 4 MOTION to Certify Class by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 08/05/2013)

Aug. 5, 2013

Aug. 5, 2013

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 20 Defendants' consent motion to stay proceedings, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendants' motion is GRANTED; it is further ORDERED that Defendants shall respond to Plaintiff's Class Action Complaint and Motion for Class Certification no later than August 30, 2013; and it is further ORDERED that Defendants shall respond to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction no later than August 16, 2013, unless withdrawn or further stayed signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on 8/6/13. (ztnr, ) (Entered: 08/06/2013)

Aug. 6, 2013

Aug. 6, 2013

Case Stayed. (ztnr, ) (Entered: 08/06/2013)

Aug. 6, 2013

Aug. 6, 2013

Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Class Action Complaint and Motion for Class Action is due by 8/30/13, Defendant's response to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction is due by 8/16/2013 (unless withdrawn or further stayed).

Aug. 6, 2013

Aug. 6, 2013

21

Consent MOTION to Stay re 3 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction , 1 Complaint, 4 MOTION to Certify Class by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order, # 3 Exhibit)(Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 08/16/2013)

Aug. 16, 2013

Aug. 16, 2013

22

ORDER granting 21 defendants' consent Motion to Stay; denying without prejudice 3 plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction; denying without prejudice 4 plaintiff's Motion to Certify Class; and directing Clerk to administratively close the case pending further order of the Court. See order for details. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on August 16, 2013. (AG) (Entered: 08/16/2013)

Aug. 16, 2013

Aug. 16, 2013

23

NOTICE OF RELATED CASE by All Defendants. Case related to Case No. 13−569. (Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 08/26/2013)

Aug. 26, 2013

Aug. 26, 2013

24

STATUS REPORT by KRYSTLE BROWN. (Henderson, Sonam) (Entered: 01/31/2014)

Jan. 31, 2014

Jan. 31, 2014

25

STATUS REPORT by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER. (Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 03/26/2014)

March 26, 2014

March 26, 2014

26

STATUS REPORT by KRYSTLE BROWN. (Henderson, Sonam) (Entered: 05/27/2014)

May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014

27

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney by KRYSTLE BROWN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Karakatsanis, Alec) (Entered: 05/29/2014)

May 29, 2014

May 29, 2014

28

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney Tara Mikkilineni by KRYSTLE BROWN (Mikkilineni, Tara) (Entered: 05/29/2014)

May 29, 2014

May 29, 2014

MINUTE ORDER granting 27 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Attorney Alec George Karakatsanis terminated. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on May 30, 2014. (AG) (Entered: 05/30/2014)

May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014

MINUTE ORDER granting 28 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Attorney Tara Mikkilineni terminated. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on May 30, 2014. (AG) (Entered: 05/30/2014)

May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014

29

STATUS REPORT by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER. (Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 07/25/2014)

July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014

30

NOTICE of Appearance by Jenna Marie Cobb on behalf of KRYSTLE BROWN (Cobb, Jenna) (Entered: 09/18/2014)

Sept. 18, 2014

Sept. 18, 2014

31

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney by KRYSTLE BROWN (Henderson, Sonam) (Entered: 09/18/2014)

Sept. 18, 2014

Sept. 18, 2014

MINUTE ORDER granting 31 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Attorney Sonam Alexander H. Henderson terminated. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on September 18, 2014. (AG) (Entered: 09/18/2014)

Sept. 18, 2014

Sept. 18, 2014

32

NOTICE Substitution of Counsel by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER re 15 Notice of Appearance (Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 01/27/2015)

Jan. 27, 2015

Jan. 27, 2015

33

Consent MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, VINCENT C. GRAY, CATHY L. LANIER (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Feldon, Gary) (Entered: 06/29/2015)

June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

MINUTE ORDER granting 33 Consent Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction: Upon consideration of the Consent Motion to Dismiss, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that the Plaintiffs' Class Action Complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on June 29, 2015. (AG) (Entered: 06/29/2015)

June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Policing

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 13, 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Woman who alleged her car was seized in violation of her due process rights.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Equal Justice Under Law

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

The District of Columbia (District of Columbia, District of Columbia), City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

General:

Forfeiture

Pattern or Practice

Affected Gender:

Female