Case: Canaan v. City of El Paso

3:16-cv-00132 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Filed Date: May 3, 2016

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 3, 2016, two indigent citizens who were jailed for not paying traffic and misdemeanor fines, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. The plaintiffs sued the City of El Paso under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Texas Constitution. Represented by lawyers from the Texas Civil Rights Project, the plaintiffs alleged that the City violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as their rights under the Texas Constit…

On May 3, 2016, two indigent citizens who were jailed for not paying traffic and misdemeanor fines, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. The plaintiffs sued the City of El Paso under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Texas Constitution. Represented by lawyers from the Texas Civil Rights Project, the plaintiffs alleged that the City violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as their rights under the Texas Constitution. The plaintiffs requested declaratory and injunctive relief, seeking to enjoin the defendants from enforcing their current debt collection program.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the City adopted a 25-percent plan in 2006 that required those assessed fines, including fines from Class C Misdemeanors and traffic tickets, to either pay 25 percent of their fines or go to jail. The plan did not account for people unable to pay 25 percent of their fines. The repayment plan, alleged the plaintiffs, was adopted as a method of revenue generation for the city. The plaintiffs asserted in their complaint that the City made $19 million from such fines in 2015 and that the policy was pursued purposely, by training municipal court clerks to tell debtors that their only options were the 25-percent payment or jail. The plaintiffs were never informed of their right to assert indigence, and they alleged that the City became aware of issues with its debt collection process but failed to reform the system.

On January 12, 2017, Judge David Guaderrama issued an order denying in part and granting in part the City's motion to dismiss, which was filed on June 6, 2016. Judge Guaderrama only looked at the due process claims because the City failed to address the equal protection claims. The plaintiffs' main due process claim was that the City's clerks failed to inform indigent debtors of their right to assert indigence. The court dismissed this claim. Judge Guaderrama held that the city had no constitutional duty to inform the plaintiffs of their right to assert their indigence. Judge Guaderrama only addressed the § 1983 action concerning the violation of the plaintiffs' due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. He allowed the equal protection claims under the Fourteenth Amendment and Texas Constitution to stand because the City had failed to address them in their motion to dismiss.

On January 20, 2017, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, and on February 3, 2017, the City responded with a new motion to dismiss, which the Court denied on April 25, 2017. One month later, the Court scheduled a jury trial to take place in March of 2018. After some months of discovery disputes and negotiation between the parties, the defendants again moved to dismiss the case, but the Court rejected the motion as untimely on December 11, 2017.

The parties continued negotiating and ultimately did reach a settlement agreement, which led the parties to file for a stipulated dismissal on May 23, 2018. That same week, on May 29, 2018, the Court reviewed the stipulated dismissal and entered an order dismissing the case with prejudice. This case is now closed, but the parties may litigate noncompliance with the contractual terms of the settlement agreement.

The settlement agreement included the following: a full release of any and all claims by both sides; an agreement that each side would bear its own costs; and an agreement that the City would, for three years following the settlement, continue certain administrative practices. These administrative practices related to: (a) notices to defendants of policies and procedures; (b) forms and procedures associated with payment plans, including a policy that payment plans required no money down, and that defendants could request an extension at any time; (c) notices to defendants regarding court hearings and court schedules; (d) policies and procedures related to indigency hearings and the issuance of warrants; and (e) a promise by defendants not to create any notice, form, procedure or policy that is inconsistent with the notices, forms, policies, and procedures that were attached to the settlement agreement.

Summary Authors

Salvatore Mancina (2/25/2017)

Chris Pollack (3/16/2019)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4401849/parties/canaan-v-city-of-el-paso/


Judge(s)
Attorney for Plaintiff

Benoit, Christopher (Texas)

Brown, Porscha (Texas)

Cornelio, Natalia M (Texas)

Coyle, Lynn (Texas)

Attorney for Defendant

Benavides, Anelisa (Texas)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:16-cv-00132

Docket [PACER]

May 29, 2018

May 29, 2018

Docket
3

3:16-cv-00132

Original Complaint

May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016

Complaint
33

3:16-cv-00132

Memorandum Opinion and Order

Jan. 12, 2017

Jan. 12, 2017

Order/Opinion

2017 WL 2017

34

3:16-cv-00132

Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint

Jan. 20, 2017

Jan. 20, 2017

Complaint
41

3:16-cv-00132

Order

April 25, 2017

April 25, 2017

Order/Opinion
59

3:16-cv-00132

Order

Dec. 11, 2017

Dec. 11, 2017

Order/Opinion

1:17-cv-01320

Opinion

Electronic Privacy Information Center v. Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Dec. 26, 2017

Dec. 26, 2017

Order/Opinion

878 F.3d 878

75

3:16-cv-00132

Joint Stipulation of Dismissal of all Claims

May 23, 2018

May 23, 2018

Settlement Agreement
75

3:16-cv-00132

Settlement Agreement

May 23, 2018

May 23, 2018

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4401849/canaan-v-city-of-el-paso/

Last updated April 13, 2024, 3:20 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

MOTION to Proceed in forma pauperis by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane. (Attachments: # 1 Memo in Support Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, # 2 Memo in Support Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, # 3 Brief Original Complaint, # 4 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 5 Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Jacobi, William) (Entered: 04/20/2016)

April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016

PACER
2

ORDER GRANTING 1 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis Signed by Judge David C Guaderrama. (mc4) (Entered: 05/03/2016)

May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016

PACER
3

ORIGINAL COMPLAINT, filed by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane.(mc4) (Entered: 05/03/2016)

May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016

PACER
4

Summons Issued as to the Mayor, City Of El Paso. (mc4) (Entered: 05/03/2016)

May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016

PACER
5

Summons Issued as to Laura Gordon, City Attorney's Office, City Of El Paso. (mc4) (Entered: 05/03/2016)

May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016

PACER
6

MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction by City Of El Paso. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Gabaldon, Oscar) (Entered: 06/06/2016)

June 6, 2016

June 6, 2016

PACER
7

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Lynn A. Coyle on behalf of Carina Canaan, Levi Lane. Attorney Lynn A. Coyle added to party Carina Canaan(pty:pla), Attorney Lynn A. Coyle added to party Levi Lane(pty:pla) (Coyle, Lynn) (Entered: 06/20/2016)

June 20, 2016

June 20, 2016

PACER
8

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Lynn A. Coyle on behalf of Carina Canaan, Levi Lane (Coyle, Lynn) (Entered: 06/20/2016)

June 20, 2016

June 20, 2016

PACER
9

Response in Opposition to Motion, filed by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane, re 6 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction filed by Defendant City Of El Paso (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Krause Yang, Wayne) (Entered: 06/20/2016)

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

June 20, 2016

June 20, 2016

PACER
10

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane as to Laura P. Gordon, City Attorney's Office, City Of El Paso served on 6/1/2016, answer due 6/22/2016. (mc4) (Entered: 06/30/2016)

June 30, 2016

June 30, 2016

RECAP
11

Request for U.S. Marshals Service Expenses in Pauper Case (mc4) (Entered: 06/30/2016)

June 30, 2016

June 30, 2016

RECAP
12

Acknowledgment of Service returned by USMS re:Carina Canaan. City Of El Paso served on 5/20/2016, answer due 6/20/2016. (em) (Entered: 07/01/2016)

July 1, 2016

July 1, 2016

PACER
13

MOTION to Set Aside to Abate Discovery by City Of El Paso. (Gabaldon, Oscar) (Entered: 08/04/2016)

Aug. 4, 2016

Aug. 4, 2016

RECAP
14

Response in Opposition to Motion, filed by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane, re 13 MOTION to Set Aside to Abate Discovery filed by Defendant City Of El Paso (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit EMAIL FROM DAVID BARR TO BRIAN JACOBI, # 2 Proposed Order PROPOSED ORDER)(Jacobi, William) (Entered: 08/08/2016)

1 Exhibit EMAIL FROM DAVID BARR TO BRIAN JACOBI

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order PROPOSED ORDER

View on PACER

Aug. 8, 2016

Aug. 8, 2016

PACER
15

Scheduling Recommendations/Proposed Scheduling Order by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Jacobi, William) (Entered: 08/09/2016)

Aug. 9, 2016

Aug. 9, 2016

16

REPLY to Response to Motion, filed by City Of El Paso, re 13 MOTION to Set Aside to Abate Discovery filed by Defendant City Of El Paso (Gabaldon, Oscar) (Entered: 08/10/2016)

Aug. 10, 2016

Aug. 10, 2016

17

ORDER DENYING 13 Motion to Abate Discovery. Signed by Judge David C Guaderrama. (mc4) (Entered: 08/16/2016)

Aug. 15, 2016

Aug. 15, 2016

18

Pretrial Disclosures Rule 26(a) Initial Disclosures by City Of El Paso. (Gabaldon, Oscar) (Entered: 08/22/2016)

Aug. 22, 2016

Aug. 22, 2016

19

ADR Report Filed − by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane(Jacobi, William) (Entered: 09/15/2016)

Sept. 15, 2016

Sept. 15, 2016

20

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by William M. McKamie on behalf of City Of El Paso. Attorney William M. McKamie added to party City Of El Paso(pty:dft) (McKamie, William) (Entered: 10/10/2016)

Oct. 10, 2016

Oct. 10, 2016

21

SCHEDULING ORDER: Pretrial Conference set for 10/12/2017 02:00 PM before Judge David C Guaderrama, Jury Selection set for 10/16/2017 09:00AM before Judge David C Guaderrama, Jury Trial set for 10/16/2017 09:00 AM before Judge David C Guaderrama, Amended Pleadings due by 1/16/2017, Discovery due by 5/16/2017, Joinder of Parties due by 1/16/2017, Dispositive Motions due by 6/30/2017,. Signed by Judge David C Guaderrama. (mc4) (Entered: 11/16/2016)

Nov. 16, 2016

Nov. 16, 2016

22

ORDER SETTING, Set Motion Hearing for 6 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction ( Motion Hearing set for 12/9/2016 10:00 AM before Judge David C Guaderrama,). Signed by Judge David C Guaderrama. (mc4) (Entered: 11/16/2016)

Nov. 16, 2016

Nov. 16, 2016

23

Opposed MOTION for Leave to File Defendant City of El Paso's First Supplement to Defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss by City Of El Paso. (Attachments: # 1 Defendant City of El Paso's First Supplement to Defendant's Rule12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, # 2 Proposed Order)(Gregory, Sue) (Entered: 11/16/2016)

Nov. 16, 2016

Nov. 16, 2016

24

ADVISORY TO THE COURT by City Of El Paso. (McKamie, William) (Entered: 11/18/2016)

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

25

Response in Opposition to Motion, filed by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane, re 23 Opposed MOTION for Leave to File Defendant City of El Paso's First Supplement to Defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant City Of El Paso (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Jacobi, William) (Entered: 11/23/2016)

Nov. 23, 2016

Nov. 23, 2016

26

REPLY to Response to Motion, filed by City Of El Paso, re 23 Opposed MOTION for Leave to File Defendant City of El Paso's First Supplement to Defendant's Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant City Of El Paso (Gregory, Sue) (Entered: 11/30/2016)

Nov. 30, 2016

Nov. 30, 2016

27

NOTICE of Extended Leave of Absence by City Of El Paso (Benavides, Anelisa) (Entered: 12/06/2016)

Dec. 6, 2016

Dec. 6, 2016

28

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge David C Guaderrama: Motion Hearing held on 12/9/2016 re 6 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction filed by City Of El Paso. Motion taken under advisement. Written Order forthcoming (Minute entry documents are not available electronically.). (Court Reporter Kathleen Supnet.)(mc4) (Entered: 12/09/2016)

Dec. 9, 2016

Dec. 9, 2016

30

MOTION for Leave to File First Amended Complaint by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit First Amended Complaint, # 2 Proposed Order)(Jacobi, William) (Entered: 12/30/2016)

Dec. 30, 2016

Dec. 30, 2016

31

Response in Opposition to Motion, filed by City Of El Paso, re 30 MOTION for Leave to File First Amended Complaint filed by Plaintiff Levi Lane, Plaintiff Carina Canaan (Gregory, Sue) (Entered: 01/06/2017)

Jan. 6, 2017

Jan. 6, 2017

32

REPLY to Response to Motion, filed by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane, re 30 MOTION for Leave to File First Amended Complaint filed by Plaintiff Levi Lane, Plaintiff Carina Canaan (Jacobi, William) (Entered: 01/10/2017)

Jan. 10, 2017

Jan. 10, 2017

33

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART 6 Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction; and ORDER DENYING 30 Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint. Plaintiffs MAY FILE by January 20, 2017 an Amended Complaint consistent with this Memorandum Opinion and Order to assert their equal protection claims as contained in their proposed amended complaint (ECF No. 30-1). Signed by Judge David C Guaderrama. (mc4)

Jan. 12, 2017

Jan. 12, 2017

RECAP

Order on Motion for Leave to File

Jan. 12, 2017

Jan. 12, 2017

PACER
34

Amended Complaint

Jan. 20, 2017

Jan. 20, 2017

PACER
35

Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim

Feb. 3, 2017

Feb. 3, 2017

PACER
36

Response in Opposition to Motion

Feb. 17, 2017

Feb. 17, 2017

PACER
37

Reply to Response to Motion

Feb. 24, 2017

Feb. 24, 2017

PACER
38

Stay

March 24, 2017

March 24, 2017

PACER
39

Response in Opposition to Motion

March 30, 2017

March 30, 2017

PACER
40

Reply to Response to Motion

April 6, 2017

April 6, 2017

PACER
41

Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction AND Order on Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim

April 25, 2017

April 25, 2017

PACER

Order on Motion to Stay

April 25, 2017

April 25, 2017

PACER
42

Notice

April 26, 2017

April 26, 2017

PACER
43

Answer to Amended Complaint

May 9, 2017

May 9, 2017

PACER
44

Extend Scheduling Order Deadlines

May 10, 2017

May 10, 2017

PACER
45

Protective Order

May 24, 2017

May 24, 2017

PACER
46

Scheduling Order

May 24, 2017

May 24, 2017

PACER

Order on Motion to Extend Scheduling Order Deadlines

May 24, 2017

May 24, 2017

PACER
47

Order on Motion for Protective Order

May 25, 2017

May 25, 2017

PACER
48

ADR Report - Other

June 22, 2017

June 22, 2017

PACER
49

Appear Pro Hac Vice

June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017

PACER
50

Withdraw as Attorney

June 30, 2017

June 30, 2017

PACER

Order on Motion to Withdraw as Attorney

July 5, 2017

July 5, 2017

PACER

Order on Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

July 5, 2017

July 5, 2017

PACER
51

Notice

July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017

PACER
52

Notice of Attorney Appearance

Sept. 29, 2017

Sept. 29, 2017

PACER
53

Transcript Request (Miscellaneous)

Oct. 20, 2017

Oct. 20, 2017

PACER
54

Protective Order

Nov. 27, 2017

Nov. 27, 2017

PACER
55

Response in Opposition to Motion

Nov. 28, 2017

Nov. 28, 2017

PACER
56

Continue

Dec. 4, 2017

Dec. 4, 2017

PACER
57

Summary Judgment

Dec. 4, 2017

Dec. 4, 2017

PACER
58

Compel

Dec. 6, 2017

Dec. 6, 2017

PACER
59

Order on Motion for Protective Order AND Order on Motion for Summary Judgment AND Order on Motion to Compel AND Order on Motion to Continue

Dec. 11, 2017

Dec. 11, 2017

PACER
60

Response to Motion

Dec. 11, 2017

Dec. 11, 2017

PACER
61

Leave to File Document

Dec. 14, 2017

Dec. 14, 2017

PACER
62

Response in Opposition to Motion

Dec. 21, 2017

Dec. 21, 2017

PACER
63

ADR Report - Other

Dec. 22, 2017

Dec. 22, 2017

PACER
64

Order on Motion for Leave to File

Dec. 26, 2017

Dec. 26, 2017

PACER
65

Scheduling Order

Jan. 8, 2018

Jan. 8, 2018

PACER
66

Notice

Feb. 1, 2018

Feb. 1, 2018

PACER
67

Summary Judgment

March 8, 2018

March 8, 2018

PACER
68

Notice of Attorney Appearance

March 9, 2018

March 9, 2018

PACER
69

Stay

March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

PACER
70

Order on Motion to Stay

March 22, 2018

March 22, 2018

PACER
71

Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

March 22, 2018

March 22, 2018

PACER

Set/Reset Hearings

March 22, 2018

March 22, 2018

PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

March 23, 2018

March 23, 2018

PACER
72

NOTICE of Settlement Submitted Jointly with Defendant City of El Paso by Carina Canaan, Levi Lane (Steffensen, Peter) (Entered: 04/23/2018)

April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018

73

ORDER re 72 Notice of Settlement filed by Levi Lane, Carina Canaan. Signed by Judge David C Guaderrama. (mc4) (Entered: 04/24/2018)

April 24, 2018

April 24, 2018

74

Notice of Change of Address

May 8, 2018

May 8, 2018

PACER
75

Stipulation of Dismissal

May 23, 2018

May 23, 2018

PACER
76

Order Dismissing Case

May 29, 2018

May 29, 2018

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Special Collection(s):

Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of Poverty)

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 3, 2016

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Two indigent citizens of El Paso, Texas who were jailed for failing to pay fines.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of El Paso, Texas (El Paso), City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Required disclosure

Order Duration: 2018 - 2021

Issues

General/Misc.:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Courts

Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond

Poverty/homelessness

Affected Race(s):

Race, unspecified