Case: DOJ Investigation of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Department

No Court

Filed Date: Dec. 15, 2016

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 15, 2016, the DOJ opened this investigation pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. 14141, into the patterns and practices of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.According to the DOJ Press Release, the investigation began because of a series of high-profile condemnations of Orange County’s judicial system. The state appellate court had issued a ruling that described constitutional abuses by …

On December 15, 2016, the DOJ opened this investigation pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. 14141, into the patterns and practices of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the DOJ Press Release, the investigation began because of a series of high-profile condemnations of Orange County’s judicial system. The state appellate court had issued a ruling that described constitutional abuses by local prosecutors and deputies as “systemic,” and affirmed an Orange County Superior Court judge’s decision to remove the county’s entire district attorney’s office from a high-profile mass murder case that has become embroiled in a scandal over a jail informant program.

As a result, the investigation focused on allegations that the district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s department systematically used jailhouse informants to elicit incriminating statements from specific inmates who had been charged and were represented by counsel, in violation of the Sixth Amendment.

Additionally, the investigation sought to determine whether the district attorney’s office committed systematic violations of defendants’ due process rights by failing to disclose promises of leniency that would have substantially undermined the credibility of the informants’ trial testimony.

This was investigation was conducted jointly with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California.

The matter appears to be ongoing.

Summary Authors

Ginny Lee (4/12/2017)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Press Release

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

Press Release

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 15, 2016

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

This is a DOJ Investigation, conducted jointly with the U.S. U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Orange County District Attorney’s Office, County

Orange County Sheriff’s Department, County

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

Reproductive rights:

Fetus Identity

General:

Pattern or Practice