Case: Gonzalez v. CoreCivic, Inc.

3:17-cv-02573 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

Filed Date: Dec. 27, 2017

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 27, 2017, five detainees in California's Otay Mesa Detention Center ("the Facility"), a for-profit civil immigration detention facility, filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The plaintiffs sued CoreCivic, a multibillion-dollar corporation that owns and operates civil detention facilities across the United States, under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act and California state law, including California's Minimum…

On December 27, 2017, five detainees in California's Otay Mesa Detention Center ("the Facility"), a for-profit civil immigration detention facility, filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The plaintiffs sued CoreCivic, a multibillion-dollar corporation that owns and operates civil detention facilities across the United States, under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act and California state law, including California's Minimum Wage and Unjust Enrichment laws. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and Al Otro Lado, sought class-action certification, declaratory and injunctive relief, and monetary damages. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant used the "free and nearly-free" labor of civil immigrant detainees to operate the facility and provide the essential services it was contractually required to provide. The plaintiffs claimed that this was forced labor and that the defendant maintained a corporate policy to withhold essential care and services to "ensure a ready supply of available labor needed to operate the Facility." The plaintiffs contended that this policy resulted in detainees performing labor, often for no more than $1.50 an hour, to buy basic necessities that were not provided by defendant, including food, water, and warm clothing. The plaintiffs alleged that if detainees did not participate in this labor scheme defendant would threaten to place them in solitary confinement and or report their actions to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The plaintiffs asserted that this practice of forced labor resulted in an economic windfall for defendant, as its costs of operating detention facilities were greatly reduced.

The plaintiffs sought to certify four classes:

(1) The Work Program Class: All civil immigration detainees who performed work for defendant at the Facility in the Work Program within the past ten years.

(2) The Unlawful Inducement Class: All civil immigration detainees held at the Otay Mesa Facility within the past ten years who performed work for no compensation outside of their pods.

(3) The Injured Worker Class: All civil immigration detainees held at the Facility within the past ten years who were injured while performing work through defendant's Work Program and denied access to California’s Worker’s Compensation benefits.

(4) The Unpaid Cleaner Class: All civil immigration detainees held at the Facility who performed labor within their pods within the past ten years under threat of solitary confinement, and/or in exchange for basic necessities.

The case was assigned to District Judge Anthony Battaglia and Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes.

On January 2, 2018, the plaintiffs provided notice of a related case. The plaintiffs related this case with Owino v. CoreCivic, Inc., "because both actions involve common legal bases, similar legal claims, and an identical defendant."

On January 5, 2018, this case was transferred to Judge Janis L. Sammartino to have the related cases assigned to the same judge. The related cases were not consolidated; pleadings were to be filed separately in each case.

The plaintiffs sought to consolidate this action with the Owino case on January 22, 2018, claiming that "such consolidation will assist in the litigation, and appointment of lead counsel as proposed is in the best interests of the parties and will expedite the litigation." In addition to consolidation, the plaintiffs sought to assert themselves as interim lead class counsel in the event of a consolidated action.

On February 23, 2018, the plaintiffs in the Owino case filed a motion for intervention, for the purpose of opposing the Gonzalez plaintiffs' motion to consolidate. The Owino plaintiffs argued that because the Gonzalez plaintiffs have different legal theories and objectives, consolidation of the cases would impair the Owino plaintiffs' ability to protect their interests. Furthermore, the Owino plaintiffs asserted that the Gonzalez plaintiffs would not adequately protect their interests in a consolidated action. Lastly, the Owino plaintiffs argued that the Gonzalez case should be dismissed because the case is duplicative. The court granted the motion to intervene on March 23, 2018.

On April 4, 2018, Judge Sammartino issued an order denying consolidation and staying the case. Judge Sammartino concluded that the Gonzalez case is duplicative, as both cases arise from the same "transaction nucleus of fact;" both cases bring similar causes of actions and request similar relief and are based on similar factual allegations. However, Judge Sammartino declined to dismiss the Gonzalez case, despite the fact that these are "two nearly identical putative class actions", given the early stage of the Owino case and that its class has not been certified.

The case appears to be dormant while resolution is pending in Owino; there has been no activity in this case since August 2018.

Summary Authors

Aaron Gurley (2/28/2020)

Related Cases

Owino v. CoreCivic, Inc., Southern District of California (2017)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6249062/parties/gonzalez-v-corecivic-inc/


Judge(s)

Sammartino, Janis Lynn (California)

Stormes, Nita L. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ahdoot, Robert R. (California)

Burns, Warren T. (Texas)

Charest, Daniel H. (Texas)

Freda, Matthew Robert (Tennessee)

Free, Robert Andrew (Tennessee)

Nelson, Korey Arthur (Louisiana)

Ramos, Nicole Elizabeth (California)

Shakib, Vanessa Tamara (California)

Judge(s)

Sammartino, Janis Lynn (California)

Stormes, Nita L. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ahdoot, Robert R. (California)

Burns, Warren T. (Texas)

Charest, Daniel H. (Texas)

Freda, Matthew Robert (Tennessee)

Free, Robert Andrew (Tennessee)

Nelson, Korey Arthur (Louisiana)

Ramos, Nicole Elizabeth (California)

Shakib, Vanessa Tamara (California)

Thompson, William B. (Texas)

Wolfson, Tina (California)

Wright, Lydia (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Acedo, Nicholas Daniel (Arizona)

Hesman, Ashlee (Arizona)

Lee, Jacob B. (Arizona)

Love, Rachel (Arizona)

Struck, Daniel Patrick (Arizona)

Other Attorney(s)

Fox, Nicholas J. (California)

Ridley, Eileen Regina (California)

Teel, Robert (Washington)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Aug. 20, 2018 Docket
1

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Damages

Dec. 27, 2017 Complaint
44

Order: (1) Denying Motion to Consolidate; and (2) Staying Case

2018 WL 1621543

April 4, 2018 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6249062/gonzalez-v-corecivic-inc/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT Against CoreCivic, Inc. (Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0974−10760875) filed by Carlos Gonzalez, Juan Jose Merino−Rodas, Gladys Carrera−Duarte, Jennye Pagoada−Lopez, Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) The new case number is 3:17−cv−2573−AJB−NLS. Judge Anthony J. Battaglia and Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes are assigned to the case. (Thompson, William)(sjm) CA Notified (sjm)(jrd) (Entered: 12/27/2017)

Dec. 27, 2017
2

Summons Issued. Counsel receiving this notice electronically should print this summons and serve it in accordance with Rule 4, Fed.R.Civ.P and LR 4.1. (sjm)(jrd) (Entered: 12/27/2017)

Dec. 27, 2017
3

Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Filing fee received: $ 206 receipt number 0974−10762465.) (Nelson, Korey)(jrd) (kcm). (Entered: 12/28/2017)

Dec. 28, 2017
4

Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Filing fee received: $ 206 receipt number 0974−10762503.)(Wright, Lydia)(jrd) (kcm). (Entered: 12/28/2017)

Dec. 28, 2017
5

Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Filing fee received: $ 206 receipt number 0974−10765138.) (Burns, Warren)(jrd)(kcm). (Entered: 12/29/2017)

Dec. 29, 2017
6

NOTICE OF RELATED CASE(S) by Gladys Carrera−Duarte, Carlos Gonzalez, Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola, Juan Jose Merino−Rodas, Jennye Pagoada−Lopez of case(s) 3:17−cv−01112 . (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A − Owino Complaint, # 2 Exhibit B − Gonzalez Complaint)(Thompson, William) (acc). (Entered: 01/02/2018)

Jan. 2, 2018
9

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Korey A. Nelson, re 3 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on 12/28/2017.(kcm) (Entered: 01/04/2018)

Jan. 2, 2018
10

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Lydia A. Wright, re 4 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on 12/28/2017.(kcm) (Entered: 01/04/2018)

Jan. 2, 2018
7

NOTICE of Appearance of Robert Ahdoot by Robert R. Ahdoot on behalf of Gladys Carrera−Duarte, Carlos Gonzalez, Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola, Juan Jose Merino−Rodas, Jennye Pagoada−Lopez (Ahdoot, Robert)Attorney Robert R. Ahdoot added to party Gladys Carrera−Duarte(pty:pla), Attorney Robert R. Ahdoot added to party Carlos Gonzalez(pty:pla), Attorney Robert R. Ahdoot added to party Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola(pty:pla), Attorney Robert R. Ahdoot added to party Juan Jose Merino−Rodas(pty:pla), Attorney Robert R. Ahdoot added to party Jennye Pagoada−Lopez(pty:pla) (acc). (Entered: 01/03/2018)

Jan. 3, 2018
8

NOTICE of Appearance of Vanessa Shakib by Vanessa Tamara Shakib on behalf of Gladys Carrera−Duarte, Carlos Gonzalez, Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola, Juan Jose Merino−Rodas, Jennye Pagoada−Lopez (Shakib, Vanessa)Attorney Vanessa Tamara Shakib added to party Gladys Carrera−Duarte(pty:pla), Attorney Vanessa Tamara Shakib added to party Carlos Gonzalez(pty:pla), Attorney Vanessa Tamara Shakib added to party Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola(pty:pla), Attorney Vanessa Tamara Shakib added to party Juan Jose Merino−Rodas(pty:pla), Attorney Vanessa Tamara Shakib added to party Jennye Pagoada−Lopez(pty:pla) (acc). (Entered: 01/03/2018)

Jan. 3, 2018
11

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Warren Tavares Burns, re 5 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on 1/3/2018.(kcm) (Entered: 01/05/2018)

Jan. 4, 2018
13

ORDER OF TRANSFER PURSUANT TO LOW NUMBER RULE. This case has been reassigned to Judge Janis L. Sammartino and Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes for all further proceedings. Judge Anthony J. Battaglia and Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes are no longer assigned to this case. Create association to 3:17−cv−01112−JLS−NLS. The new case number is 17cv2573−JLS−NLS. Signed by Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on 1/4/2018. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 1/4/2018.(aef) (Entered: 01/08/2018)

Jan. 5, 2018
14

Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee received: $ 206 receipt number 0974−10792780.) (Application to be reviewed by Clerk.) (Freda, Matthew) (kcm). (Entered: 01/09/2018)

Jan. 9, 2018
15

Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee received: $ 206 receipt number 0974−10793042.) (Application to be reviewed by Clerk.) (Ramos, Nicole) (kcm). (Entered: 01/09/2018)

Jan. 9, 2018
16

Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee received: $ 206 receipt number 0974−10795513.) (Application to be reviewed by Clerk.) (Free, Robert) (kcm). (Entered: 01/10/2018)

Jan. 10, 2018
17

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Daniel Henry Charest, re 12 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 1/11/2018.(kcm) (Entered: 01/12/2018)

Jan. 12, 2018
18

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Matthew R. Freda, re 14 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 1/11/2018.(kcm) (Entered: 01/12/2018)

Jan. 12, 2018
19

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Nicole Elizabeth Ramos, re 15 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 1/11/2018.(kcm) (Entered: 01/12/2018)

Jan. 12, 2018
20

NOTICE of Appearance of Tina Wolfson by Tina Wolfson on behalf of Gladys Carrera−Duarte, Carlos Gonzalez, Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola, Juan Jose Merino−Rodas, Jennye Pagoada−Lopez (Wolfson, Tina)Attorney Tina Wolfson added to party Gladys Carrera−Duarte(pty:pla), Attorney Tina Wolfson added to party Carlos Gonzalez(pty:pla), Attorney Tina Wolfson added to party Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola(pty:pla), Attorney Tina Wolfson added to party Juan Jose Merino−Rodas(pty:pla), Attorney Tina Wolfson added to party Jennye Pagoada−Lopez(pty:pla) (mpl). (Entered: 01/12/2018)

Jan. 12, 2018
21

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Robert Andrew Free (Re: Doc. No. 16 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice). Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 1/17/2018.(jrd) (Entered: 01/18/2018)

Jan. 18, 2018
22

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Carlos Gonzalez, Juan Jose Merino−Rodas, Gladys Carrera−Duarte, Jennye Pagoada−Lopez, Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola, as to CoreCivic, Inc. (Thompson, William) (mpl). (Entered: 01/19/2018)

Jan. 19, 2018
23

MOTION to Consolidate Cases and Appoint Interim Lead Class Counsel by Gladys Carrera−Duarte, Carlos Gonzalez, Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola, Juan Jose Merino−Rodas, Jennye Pagoada−Lopez. (Attachments: # 1 Memo of Points and Authorities, # 2 Exhibit A − Declaration of K. Nelson, # 3 Exhibit B − Declaration of R. A. Free)(Thompson, William) (mpl). (Entered: 01/22/2018)

Jan. 22, 2018
24

Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee received: $ 206 receipt number 0974−10856494.) (Struck, Daniel) (kcm). (Entered: 01/29/2018)

Jan. 29, 2018
25

Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee received: $ 206 receipt number 0974−10856552.) (Love, Rachel) (kcm). (Entered: 01/29/2018)

Jan. 29, 2018
26

Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee received: $ 206 receipt number 0974−10856592.) (Acedo, Nicholas) (kcm). (Entered: 01/29/2018)

Jan. 29, 2018
27

Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee received: $ 206 receipt number 0974−10856610.) (Fletcher, Ashlee) (kcm). (Entered: 01/29/2018)

Jan. 29, 2018
28

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Daniel P. Struck, re 24 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 2/1/2018.(kcm) (Entered: 02/02/2018)

Feb. 2, 2018
30

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Nicholas D. Acedo, re 26 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 2/1/2018.(kcm) (Entered: 02/02/2018)

Feb. 2, 2018
31

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Ashlee B. Hesman, re 27 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 2/1/2018.(kcm) (Entered: 02/02/2018)

Feb. 2, 2018
32

MOTION to Intervene for Limited Purpose of Opposing Consolidation by Sylvester Owino, Jonathan Gomez. (Attachments: # 1 Memo of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Limited Intervention, # 2 Proof of Service)(Teel, Robert)Attorney Robert L. Teel added to party Sylvester Owino(pty:intv), Attorney Robert L. Teel added to party Jonathan Gomez(pty:intv)(mpl). (Entered: 02/23/2018)

Feb. 23, 2018
33

Ex Parte MOTION to Shorten Time to Hear Unopposed Motion for Limited Intervention by Jonathan Gomez, Sylvester Owino. (Attachments: # 1 Proof of Service)(Teel, Robert) (mpl). (Entered: 02/23/2018)

Feb. 23, 2018
34

NOTICE of Association of Counsel by Jonathan Gomez, Sylvester Owino (Ridley, Eileen)Attorney Eileen Regina Ridley added to party Jonathan Gomez(pty:intv), Attorney Eileen Regina Ridley added to party Sylvester Owino(pty:intv)(mpl). (Entered: 02/27/2018)

Feb. 27, 2018
35

NOTICE of Association of Counsel by Jonathan Gomez, Sylvester Owino (Fox, Nicholas)Attorney Nicholas J. Fox added to party Jonathan Gomez(pty:intv), Attorney Nicholas J. Fox added to party Sylvester Owino(pty:intv) (mpl). (Entered: 02/27/2018)

Feb. 27, 2018
36

ORDER: (1) Granting 32 Motion for Limited Intervention; (2) Denying as moot 33 Ex Parte Motion to Shorten Time; (3) Vacating Hearing; and (4) Setting Briefing Schedule. The Owino Plaintiffs shall an Opposition on or before 3/8/2018. The remaining parties shall file a Reply, if any, on or before 3/15/2018. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 3/6/2018. (mpl) (Entered: 03/06/2018)

March 6, 2018
37

RESPONSE in Opposition re 23 MOTION to Consolidate Cases and Appoint Interim Lead Class Counsel filed by Jonathan Gomez, Sylvester Owino. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Robert Teel ISO Response, # 2 Supplemental Adequacy Declaration of Robert Teel ISO Response, # 3 Declaration of Eileen Ridley ISO Intervenors Response, # 4 Declaration of J. Mark Waxman ISO Intervenors Response)(Fox, Nicholas) (mpl). (Entered: 03/08/2018)

March 8, 2018
38

RESPONSE in Opposition re 23 MOTION to Consolidate Cases and Appoint Interim Lead Class Counsel filed by CoreCivic, Inc.. (Acedo, Nicholas) (mpl). (Entered: 03/08/2018)

March 8, 2018
39

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by CoreCivic, Inc. re 38 Response in Opposition to Motion to Consolidate (Acedo, Nicholas) (mpl). (Entered: 03/08/2018)

March 8, 2018
40

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, − Unopposed by CoreCivic, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Proof of Service)(Acedo, Nicholas) (mpl). (Entered: 03/14/2018)

March 14, 2018
41

REPLY to Response to Motion re 23 MOTION to Consolidate Cases and Appoint Interim Lead Class Counsel filed by Gladys Carrera−Duarte, Carlos Gonzalez, Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola, Juan Jose Merino−Rodas, Jennye Pagoada−Lopez. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A − Affidavit of Korey A. Nelson)(Nelson, Korey) (mpl). (Entered: 03/15/2018)

March 15, 2018
42

ORDER Vacating Hearing re 23 MOTION to Consolidate Cases. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 3/16/2018.(mpl) (Entered: 03/16/2018)

March 16, 2018
43

ORDER Granting 40 Motion to Extend Deadline to Respond to Complaint. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 3/16/2018. (mpl) (Entered: 03/16/2018)

March 16, 2018
44

ORDER:(1) Denying 23 Motion to Consolidate; and (2) Staying Case. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 4/4/2018. (mpl) (Entered: 04/04/2018)

April 4, 2018
46

ORDER Approving the Pro Hac Vice Application of Jacob B. Lee, re 45 Request to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 06/06/2018.(ajs) (Entered: 06/07/2018)

June 7, 2018
47

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney Vanessa Shakib by Gladys Carrera−Duarte, Carlos Gonzalez, Maribel Gutierrez−Canchola, Juan Jose Merino−Rodas, Jennye Pagoada−Lopez. (Ahdoot, Robert) (mpl). (Entered: 08/16/2018)

Aug. 16, 2018
48

ORDER Granting 47 Motion to Withdraw.Attorney Vanessa Tamara Shakib terminated. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 8/20/2018. (mpl) (Entered: 08/20/2018)

Aug. 20, 2018 RECAP
48

ORDER Granting 47 Motion to Withdraw.Attorney Vanessa Tamara Shakib terminated. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 8/20/2018. (mpl) (Entered: 08/20/2018)

Aug. 20, 2018 RECAP

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Special Collection(s):

Immigrant Detention Labor Issues

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 27, 2017

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Civil immigration detainees in California's Otay Mesa Detention Center

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Pending

Defendants

CoreCivic, Inc., Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), 18 U.S.C. § 1589

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Confinement/isolation

Forced labor

Pattern or Practice

Totality of conditions

Type of Facility:

Non-government for profit

Immigration/Border:

Detention - conditions