Case: United States v. Baltimore County

1:19-cv-02465 | U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Filed Date: Aug. 27, 2019

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 27, 2019, the United States filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (in Baltimore). The federal government sued Baltimore County for injunctive relief for employment dicrimination, alleging violations by the County Police Department of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-6(a), in its recruitment and hiring practices. Specifically, the federal government alleged that the Baltimore County Office of Human Resources and Baltimore…

On August 27, 2019, the United States filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (in Baltimore). The federal government sued Baltimore County for injunctive relief for employment dicrimination, alleging violations by the County Police Department of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-6(a), in its recruitment and hiring practices.

Specifically, the federal government alleged that the Baltimore County Office of Human Resources and Baltimore County Police Department developed and issued a series of discriminatory written exams to screen entry-level police officer applicants. Three different variations of the exam were used from 2009–2013, 2014, and 2015–2016. All three variations resulted in statistically lower pass rates for African American applicants compared to the pass rates for white applicants. The exams allegedly used as a pass/fail screening device in a multi-stage application in which those who failed were not permitted to move on to subsequent stages of the application process. The Department of Justice alleged that the material tested on the exams was not job-related consistent with business necessity and did not otherwise meet the requirements of Section 703(k) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(k). DOJ further alleged that as a result of these exams, BCPD has hired fewer African American applicants as BCPD entry-level police officers and police cadets since January 1, 2013, than it would have had it used a nondiscriminatory screening device.

The government sought injunctive relief requiring that the defendant:

1. Refrain from using written exams to screen applicants that result in a disparate impact on African Americans where such exams are not consistent with business necessity and do not otherwise meet the requirements of Section 703(k) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(k);

2. Provide remedial relief to and make whole all persons who have suffered individual loss as a result of the discrimination alleged; and

3. Adopt other appropriate nondiscriminatory measures to correct the present effects of its discriminatory policies and practices.

The parties were referred to Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite on August 27, 2019; it was reassigned in early September to District Judge Catherine C. Blake. Shortly after entering discovery, the parties began negotiating a settlement agreement. Following a year of telephone conferences (between the parties)and hearing resets, the parties agreed to a settlement. On May 19, 2021, Judge Blake entered an order granting the parties' joint motion to finalize the settlement agreement.

The amended settlement includes the following:

(1) Enjoining the County from using the challenged exams and requiring the County to develop a new schematic which would not lead to a disparate impact against African American applicants (unless the impact is job-related and consistent with business necessity)

(2) Individual relief in the form of back pay for certain affected applicants who had been denied under the old policy, and priority hiring relief for up to twenty of those applicants in certain circumstances.

(3) Procedures and timelines for implementing the above.

The settlement agreement allowed the court to appoint an officer to monitor compliance with the settlement. Once the federal government and the county agree that everything in paragraphs 33-47 has been done, the case will remain open for approximately 90 days to give the federal government an opportunity to object to the rule change selected by the county. Based on the scope of the settlement, it seems likely that this will be at least a couple of years. The settlement has been entered as final by the court and all objections to the agreement were overruled in May 2021. So the case remains open for implementation.

Summary Authors

Kevin Longhany (9/26/2019)

John Duffield (6/29/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/16116680/parties/united-states-v-baltimore-county-maryland/


Judge(s)

Blake, Catherine C. (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baluch, Ejaz Hussain Jr. (Maryland)

Burrell, Meredith (District of Columbia)

Dreiband, Eric S. (District of Columbia)

Kennebrew, Delora L. (District of Columbia)

Lawrence, Kathleen O. (District of Columbia)

Salazar, Kunti D. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Benjamin, James R (Maryland)

Field, Michael E. (Maryland)

Gaskins, Gregory E. (Maryland)

Judge(s)

Blake, Catherine C. (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baluch, Ejaz Hussain Jr. (Maryland)

Burrell, Meredith (District of Columbia)

Dreiband, Eric S. (District of Columbia)

Kennebrew, Delora L. (District of Columbia)

Lawrence, Kathleen O. (District of Columbia)

Salazar, Kunti D. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Benjamin, James R (Maryland)

Field, Michael E. (Maryland)

Gaskins, Gregory E. (Maryland)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

July 11, 2021 Docket
1

Complaint

Aug. 27, 2019 Complaint
37-3

Settlement Agreement

Nov. 4, 2020 Settlement Agreement
45

Memorandum

2021 WL 2000480

May 19, 2021 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/16116680/united-states-v-baltimore-county-maryland/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against Baltimore County, Maryland, filed by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons)(Salazar, Kunti) (Entered: 08/27/2019)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Summons

View on PACER

Aug. 27, 2019 RECAP
2

Summons Issued 21 days as to Baltimore County, Maryland.(dass, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 08/27/2019)

Aug. 27, 2019 PACER
3

NOTICE of Case Assignment. This case has been assigned to Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite. United States of America or counsel for United States of America are required to review and comply with the Magistrate Judge Pilot Project Procedures which can be downloaded here. Pursuant to Standing Order 2018-04, which can be downloaded here, counsel has 14 days from the date of this notice to file their consent, or decline to consent to proceed before a U.S. Magistrate Judge which can be downloaded here. To file your consent, go to Civil > Other Filings > Other Documents > 25 Pct Mag - Consent to Proceed Before a Magistrate Judge. To file your declination, go to Civil > Other Filings > Other Documents > 25 Pct Mag - Decline to Proceed Before a Magistrate Judge. Failure to file a consent or declination will result in issuance of an Order to Show Cause. Please review the case management order that has been issued in this case. Magistrate Election Form due by 9/10/2019. (dass, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 08/27/2019)

Aug. 27, 2019 PACER
4

Case Management Order. Signed by Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite on 8/27/2019. (dass, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 08/27/2019)

Aug. 27, 2019 RECAP
5

NOTICE of Appearance by Kunti D Salazar on behalf of United States of America (Salazar, Kunti) (Entered: 08/29/2019)

Aug. 29, 2019 PACER
6

NOTICE of Appearance by Kathleen O'Malley Lawrence on behalf of United States of America (Lawrence, Kathleen) (Entered: 08/29/2019)

Aug. 29, 2019 PACER
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Meredith L Burrell on behalf of United States of America (Burrell, Meredith) (Entered: 08/29/2019)

Aug. 29, 2019 PACER

Case reassigned to Judge Catherine C. Blake. Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite no longer assigned to the case. (cags, Deputy Clerk)

Sept. 10, 2019 PACER

Case Assigned/Reassigned

Sept. 10, 2019 PACER
11

SUMMONS Returned Executed by United States of America. Baltimore County, Maryland served on 9/3/2019, answer due 9/24/2019. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit of Kunti D. Salazar, # 2 Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit B)(Salazar, Kunti) (Entered: 09/12/2019)

Sept. 12, 2019 PACER
12

Local Rule 103.3 Disclosure Statement by Baltimore County, Maryland (Field, Michael) (Entered: 09/17/2019)

Sept. 17, 2019 PACER
13

ANSWER to 1 Complaint by Baltimore County, Maryland.(Field, Michael) (Entered: 09/17/2019)

Sept. 17, 2019 PACER

Telephone Conference held on 9/19/2019 before Judge Catherine C. Blake. (kams, Deputy Clerk)

Sept. 19, 2019 PACER

Telephone Conference

Sept. 19, 2019 PACER
14

ORDER confirming results of telephone conference re Referral for mediation with a Magistrate Judge, limited written discovery, and deadline for filing a proposed schedule for full discovery. Signed by Judge Catherine C. Blake on 9/20/2019. (dass, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 09/20/2019)

Sept. 20, 2019 PACER
15

ORDER REFERRING CASE to Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey for Mediation. Signed by Judge Catherine C. Blake on 9/25/2019. (hmls, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 09/25/2019)

Sept. 25, 2019 PACER
16

ORDER Scheduling Settlement Conference. Signed by Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey on 10/1/2019. (krs, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 10/01/2019)

Oct. 1, 2019 PACER
17

NOTICE of Appearance by Michael George Raimondi on behalf of Baltimore County, Maryland (Raimondi, Michael) (Entered: 10/30/2019)

Oct. 30, 2019 PACER
18

Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to submit a discovery plan by Baltimore County, Maryland (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Raimondi, Michael) (Entered: 10/30/2019)

Oct. 30, 2019 PACER
19

ORDER granting 18 Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to submit a discovery plan. Signed by Judge Catherine C. Blake on 10/31/2019. (kw2s, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 10/31/2019)

Oct. 31, 2019 PACER

Telephone Conference re Settlment held on 11/13/2019 before Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey. (dass, Deputy Clerk)

Nov. 13, 2019 PACER

Telephone Conference

Nov. 13, 2019 PACER
20

NOTICE of Appearance by Michael George Raimondi on behalf of Baltimore County, Maryland (Raimondi, Michael) (Entered: 11/20/2019)

Nov. 20, 2019 PACER
21

Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to Submit the Proposed Schedule for Full Discovery by United States of America (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Lawrence, Kathleen) (Entered: 11/20/2019)

Nov. 20, 2019 PACER
22

ORDER granting 21 Joint Motion to postpone submission of the proposed schedule for full Discovery. Signed by Judge Catherine C. Blake on 11/20/2019. (dass, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 11/21/2019)

Nov. 21, 2019 PACER
23

NOTICE of Appearance by Ejaz Hussain Baluch, Jr on behalf of United States of America (Baluch, Ejaz) (Entered: 12/13/2019)

Dec. 13, 2019 PACER
24

Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to File Proposed Schedule for Full Discovery by United States of America (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Baluch, Ejaz) (Entered: 01/06/2020)

Jan. 6, 2020 PACER
25

ORDER granting 24 Joint Motion to Postpone Submission of the Proposed Schedule for Full Discovery. Signed by Judge Catherine C. Blake on 1/7/2020. (dass, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 01/07/2020)

Jan. 7, 2020 PACER
26

NOTICE by United States of America of Withdrawal of Counsel Kunti Salazar (Salazar, Kunti) (Entered: 02/18/2020)

Feb. 18, 2020 PACER
27

NOTICE of Appearance by Shayna Bloom on behalf of United States of America (Bloom, Shayna) (Entered: 02/20/2020)

Feb. 20, 2020 PACER
28

Motion for Extension of Time to File

Feb. 20, 2020 PACER
29

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Document

Feb. 21, 2020 PACER
30

Motion for Extension of Time

July 2, 2020 PACER
31

Order on Motion for Extension of Time

July 7, 2020 PACER
32

Notice (Other)

Sept. 1, 2020 PACER

Telephone Conference

Sept. 3, 2020 PACER
33

Order

Sept. 3, 2020 PACER

Telephone Conference

Sept. 8, 2020 PACER

Telephone Conference

Sept. 15, 2020 PACER

Telephone Conference

Sept. 28, 2020 PACER

Telephone Conference

Sept. 30, 2020 PACER

Telephone Conference

Oct. 1, 2020 PACER
34

Notice of Appearance

Oct. 1, 2020 PACER

Telephone Conference

Oct. 5, 2020 PACER
35

Motion for Extension of Time

Oct. 14, 2020 PACER
36

Order on Motion for Extension of Time

Oct. 15, 2020 PACER
37

Motion for Settlement

Nov. 4, 2020 PACER

Telephone Conference

Nov. 10, 2020 PACER
38

Order on Motion for Settlement

Nov. 18, 2020 PACER
39

Miscellaneous Correspondence

Jan. 5, 2021 PACER
40

Status Report

Feb. 26, 2021 PACER
45

MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge Catherine C. Blake on 5/19/2021. (dass, Deputy Clerk)

May 19, 2021 RECAP

State / Territory: Maryland

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 27, 2019

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

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: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Baltimore County, MD (Baltimore), County

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens

Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $2,000,000.00

Order Duration: 2021 - None

Content of Injunction:

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention

Retroactive Seniority

Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Discrimination-area:

Hiring

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Other