Case: Mata Alvarado v. Superior Court of Los Angeles

FCS050284 | California state trial court

Filed Date: Feb. 8, 2016

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 8, 2016, two low-income female drivers - one Latina, the other African American - filed this lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court of California against the same court, under the (i) California Vehicle Code (ii) 42 USC §1983, (iii) California Constitution (iv) the state civil procedure code, (v) Government Code §11135 and (vi) Penal Code §1214.1. The plaintiffs, represented by the Western Center on Law and Poverty and other attorneys, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, ar…

On February 8, 2016, two low-income female drivers - one Latina, the other African American - filed this lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court of California against the same court, under the (i) California Vehicle Code (ii) 42 USC §1983, (iii) California Constitution (iv) the state civil procedure code, (v) Government Code §11135 and (vi) Penal Code §1214.1. The plaintiffs, represented by the Western Center on Law and Poverty and other attorneys, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, arguing that the Los Angeles Superior Court had been suspending driver's licenses simply because drivers could not pay citation fees, without prior analyzing whether the nonpayment was willful. The plaintiffs also alleged that the court violated drivers' due process rights by stripping them of the ability to fight the suspensions. According to the complaint, these practices resulted in disproportionate driver's license suspensions and arrests for failures to pay traffic citations in Black and Latino communities in the Los Angeles area.

On February 5, 2018, the case was transferred to the Superior Court of California for the County of Solano. On the same day, the parties filed a joint request for conditional dismissal with prejudice, upon a settlement and release agreement. Under the settlement agreement, the defendant agreed to (i) allow all traffic/infraction defendants to demonstrate their inability to pay a fine, (ii) notify them of their right to do so, and (iii) train court personnel on the new rules. The defendant also agreed to pay $87,500 in attorneys' fees. The parties agreed to a 12-month period during which plaintiffs' counsel would monitor compliance with the agreement. As a result, the plaintiffs conditionally dismissed the case with prejudice, agreeing to file a request dismissal with prejudice after the 12-month monitoring period ends, which will happen in August 2019.

Summary Authors

Daniele de Oliveira Nunes (3/25/2019)

People


Judge(s)

Mattice, Michael (California)

Nichols, Colleen M. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dozier, Antionette D (California)

Pastore, Claire Iris (California)

Rapkin, Scott B. (California)

Rothschild, Richard (California)

Seplow, Michael D. (California)

Turney, CT (California)

Zhen, Theresa (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Naeve, Robert A (California)

Judge(s)

Mattice, Michael (California)

Nichols, Colleen M. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dozier, Antionette D (California)

Pastore, Claire Iris (California)

Rapkin, Scott B. (California)

Rothschild, Richard (California)

Seplow, Michael D. (California)

Turney, CT (California)

Zhen, Theresa (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Naeve, Robert A (California)

Reilley, Erica L. (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

BC628849

State Court Docket

Nov. 3, 2017

Nov. 3, 2017

Docket

FCS050284

State Docket

Alvarado v. Superior Court of Los Angeles

Nov. 6, 2018

Nov. 6, 2018

Docket

BC628849

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Aug. 2, 2016

Aug. 2, 2016

Complaint

FCS050284

Order Dismissing and Settlement Agreement

Sept. 25, 2018

Sept. 25, 2018

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 1, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of Poverty)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 8, 2016

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Two female low-income drivers - one Latin, the other African American.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles (Los Angeles), State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Conditional Dismissal

Amount Defendant Pays: 87,500

Order Duration: 2018 - 2019

Content of Injunction:

Required disclosure

Training

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Drivers Licenses

Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic