Case: 1997 DOJ Investigation of Orange County Sheriff's Office

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Case Summary

On April 11, 1997, the Department of Justice opened an investigation of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OSCO) in Florida after receiving allegations of discriminatory policing and unlawful stops, searches, and seizures, stemming from the Criminal Patrol Unit, a drug interception unit which operated on the turnpike.

During the investigation, state legislators passed a statute requiring law enforcement agencies to adopt anti-discrimination policies and procedures for handling civilian complaints. After the statute was passed, OSCO enacted an anti-discrimination policy and disbanded its Criminal Patrol Unit.

The DOJ did not file a complaint, and the case was closed on May 11, 2001.

Summary Authors

Robin Peterson (5/24/2023)

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Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 1:25 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Florida

Case Type(s):


Key Dates

Closing Date: May 11, 2001

Case Ongoing: No


Plaintiff Description:

Department of Justice

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


Orange County (Orange), County

Defendant Type(s):


Case Details

Causes of Action:

Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, 34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Special Case Type(s):


Available Documents:

None of the above


Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:


Source of Relief:




Pattern or Practice