Case: Ridgeway v. TW Services/Denny's, U.S. v. TW Services, and

5:93-cv-20208 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Filed Date: March 26, 1993

Closed Date: 2001

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 26, 1993, the United States Justice Department filed this lawsuit under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000a et seq. (the Public Accommodations Act), in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against TW Services and its subsidiary, Denny's, Inc., which operates Denny's Restaurants, alleging discriminatory treatment of African Americans by Denny's restaurants in California. Specifically, the complaint alleged that Denny's implemented term…

On March 26, 1993, the United States Justice Department filed this lawsuit under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000a et seq. (the Public Accommodations Act), in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against TW Services and its subsidiary, Denny's, Inc., which operates Denny's Restaurants, alleging discriminatory treatment of African Americans by Denny's restaurants in California. Specifically, the complaint alleged that Denny's implemented terms and conditions for service of black customers, such as the requirement of prepayment and cover charges, that were not required of white patrons, that African Americans received poorer service, and that they were discouraged from patronizing the restaurant.

The complaint was filed contemporaneously with a consent decree, which was approved by the Court on April 1, 1993. On July 2, 1993, the Court, on its own motion, consolidated the case with Ridgeway v. Denny's Corporation, a class action filed on March 24, 1993, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Both actions alleged violations of the Public Accommodations Act in relation to Denny's treatment of African American customers. The class action also alleged violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq., California Civil Code §§ 51 et seq. and California Civil Code §§ 1750 et seq.

Following execution of the original decree, numerous complaints of racial discrimination were submitted to the Plaintiff Class and the United States. The United States investigated the complaints and, on May 24, 1994, submitted an amended consent decree to expand the protections to customers and prevent future discrimination. The amended consent decree prohibited Denny's from engaging in discriminatory treatment of African Americans and established procedures for compliance, including a comprehensive non-discrimination training program, as well as provisions for notice, advertising, testing, monitoring and record keeping. It also required the defendants to establish a $28 million settlement fund for the plaintiff class, and appointment of a Special Master. The Amended Consent Decree was given final approval by the Court (Judge James Ware) on July 29, 1994.

After preliminary approval of the Amended Consent Decree, the parties received reports that a number of individuals and organizations in California were charging fees for services related to the preparation and/or filing of claims in the case. The court (Judge Ware) issued several cease and desist orders to counsel concerning processing of potential claimants. Ridgeway v. Flagstar Corporation, Nos. C 93-20202, C 93-20208, 1994 WL 525553 (N.D.Cal. Sept. 22, 1994.), Ridgeway v. Flagstar Corporation, Nos. C 93-20202, C 93-20208, 1994 WL 564571 (N.D.Cal. Oct. 3, 1994)). The court (Judge Ware) also issued orders vacating depositions scheduled by class counsel. Ridgeway v. Flagstar Corporation, Nos. C 93-20202, C 93-20208, 1994 WL 665250 (N.D.Cal. Nov. 3, 1994), Ridgeway v. Flagstar Corporation, Nos. C 93-20202, C 93-20208, 1994 WL 665243 (N.D.Cal. Nov. 8, 1994), and denying requests of non-party lawyers to amend the judgment and get for fees defending motions to compel. Ridgeway v. Flagstar Corporation, Nos. C 93-20202, C 93-20208, 1994 WL 665414 (N.D.Cal. Nov. 8, 1994). The court (Judge Ware) further denied a second motion from the lawyers, vacated a scheduled hearing, and ordered the lawyers to prepare a list of any Denny's claimants who had signed contingency fees with them. Ridgeway v. Flagstar Corporation, Nos. C 93-20202, C 93-20208, 1994 WL 669935 (N.D.Cal. Nov. 18, 1994).

In July and August of 1996 the court issued orders clarifying the confidentiality provisions of the decree and modifying dates for distribution of residual funds. After several years of status reports, the United States submitted a final report on January 16, 2001, recommending early dismissal of the consent decree. On April 4, 2001, the Court (Judge Ware) terminated the consent decree's provisions effective November 11, 2000, and dismissed the case.

Summary Authors

Denise Lieberman (12/2/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Trumbull, Patricia V. (California)

Ware, James (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Demchak, Teresa (California)

Hancock, Paul F. (District of Columbia)

Heffernan, Brian F. (District of Columbia)

Holt, L. W. (California)

Lawson, Antonio (California)

Mayeda, Mari (California)

Mendez, John A. (California)

Olguin, Fernando Manzano (California)

Judge(s)

Trumbull, Patricia V. (California)

Ware, James (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Demchak, Teresa (California)

Hancock, Paul F. (District of Columbia)

Heffernan, Brian F. (District of Columbia)

Holt, L. W. (California)

Lawson, Antonio (California)

Mayeda, Mari (California)

Mendez, John A. (California)

Olguin, Fernando Manzano (California)

Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)

Price, Patricia G. (California)

Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)

Schirle, Stephen L. (California)

Shaheen, Christopher T. (District of Columbia)

Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)

Utti, Mary Beth (California)

Wilson, Amanda K. (California)

Yamaguchi, Michael J. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bazile, Leo (California)

Farrell, Joseph B. (California)

Pfister, Thomas L. (California)

Steering, Jerry L. (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

U.S. v. TW Services, Inc., et al

April 4, 2001 Docket

Docket (PACER)

Ridgeway v. Denny's Corporation

April 4, 2001 Docket
1

Complaint

U.S. v. T.W. Services, Inc. and Denny's, Inc.

March 26, 1993 Complaint
4

Consent Decree

U.S. v. TW Services, Inc.

1993 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 7882

April 1, 1993 Order/Opinion
8

Amended Consent Decree

U.S. v. Flagstar Corporation and Denny's, Inc.

May 24, 1994 Settlement Agreement
119

Order to Cease and Desist

U.S. v. Flagstar Corporation and Denny's, Inc.

1994 WL 525553, 1994 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 21639

Sept. 22, 1994 Order/Opinion
134

Order to Cease and Desist

U.S. v. Flagstar Corporation and Denny's, Inc.

1994 WL 564571

Oct. 3, 1994 Order/Opinion

Order Vacating Depositions of Gerald Salaam and Paul Jackson and Requiring Production of Claimant List to Class Counsel

U.S. v. Flagstar Corporation and Denny's, Inc.

1994 WL 665250

Nov. 3, 1994 Order/Opinion
144

Order Denying Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment

U.S. v. Flagstar Corporation and Denny's, Inc.

1994 WL 665414

Nov. 8, 1994 Order/Opinion

Order Vacating Deposition of Jerry Varnado and Requiring Production of Claimant List to Class Counsel

U.S. v. Flagstar Corporation and Denny's, Inc.

1994 WL 665243

Nov. 8, 1994 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

The Denny's Story: How a Company in Crisis Resurrected Its Good Name and Reputation

Jim Adamson

From the book (inside cover): <br />The Denny’s Story In the early ’90s, the Denny’s restaurant chain was faced with charges of race discrimination that severely damaged its image. Stories of Africa… Jan. 21, 2000 http://www.amazon.com/The-Dennys-Story-Resurrected-Reputation/dp/0471369578

Civil Warrior: Memoirs of a Civil Rights Attorney

Guy T. Saperstein

From the publisher: <br />Guy Saperstein grew up in the 1960s and was deeply involved in civil rights work from an early age. He decided after graduating from law school to devote his efforts entir… Jan. 1, 2003 http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1893163474

Docket

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT (no process) Fee status wv entered on 3/26/93. (bfv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 03/30/1993)

March 26, 1993
2

NOTICE by plaintiff USA of related case(s) C93-20202 JW (bfv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 03/30/1993)

March 26, 1993

RECEIVED consent decree submitted by plaintiff USA (bfv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 03/30/1993)

March 26, 1993
3

ORDER by Mag. Judge Patricia V. Trumbull setting status conference for 2:00 8/3/93 (cc: all counsel) (bfv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 03/30/1993)

March 26, 1993
4

CONSENT JUDGMENT by Judge James Ware dismissing case ; appeal filing ddl 5/3/93 (cc: all counsel) ( Date Entered: 4/2/93) (bfv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 04/02/1993)

April 1, 1993
5

REASSIGNMENT ORDER by Assignment Committee granting related case notice [2-1] Case reassigned to Judge James Ware ( Date Entered: 4/22/93) (cc: all counsel) (bfv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 04/22/1993)

April 6, 1993
6

JOINT MOTION before Judge James Ware plaintiff USA in 5:93-cv- 20208 for preliminary approval of consent decree, certification of settlement class and scheduling order [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 05/24/1994)

May 24, 1994
7

MEMORANDUM by plaintiff USA in 5:93-cv-20208 in support of motion for preliminary approval of consent decree, certification of settlement class and scheduling order [67-1] in 5:93-cv-20202 [5:93-cv- 20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 05/24/1994)

May 24, 1994

RECEIVED Order ( plaintiff USA in 5:93-cv-20208) granting preliminary approval of class action settlement [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv- 20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 05/24/1994)

May 24, 1994
8

DECLARATION by Mari Mayeda on behalf of plaintiffs in 5:93-cv- 20202 and C 93-20208 in support of joint application for preliminary approval of consent decree [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 05/24/1994)

May 24, 1994

RECEIVED Amended Consent Decree submitted by plaintiff USA in 5:93-cv-20208 [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 05/24/1994)

May 24, 1994
9

ORDER by Judge Ware granting motion for preliminary approval of consent decree, certification of settlement class and scheduling order [6- 1] In court hearing for final approval of the settlement will be held 11am 7/29/94 (Date Entered: 5/25/94) (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20208] (mh, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 05/25/1994)

May 24, 1994
11

MOTION before Judge Ware by pla for preliminary approval of consent decree , certification of settlement class , approval of calss settlement notice & scheduling order [5:93-cv-20208] (mh, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 05/25/1994)

May 24, 1994
12

MEMORANDUM by plaintiff in 5:93-cv-20208 in support of motion for preliminary approval of consent decree [11-1], of motion certification of settlement class [11-2], of motion approval of calss settlement notice [11- 3], of motion scheduling order [11-4] [5:93-cv-20208] (mh, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 05/25/1994)

May 24, 1994
13

STIPULATION and ORDER by Judge James Ware : amending claim form and special note (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 06/17/1994)

June 16, 1994
14

ORDER by Judge James Ware granting motion for final approval of amended consent decree and certification of settlement class [80-1] in 5:93-cv-20202 ( Date Entered: 8/9/94) (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 08/09/1994)

July 29, 1994
15

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE why The Law Offices of Melvin Belli should not be restrained from engaging and advertising (see attached exhibit to order: by Judge James Ware ; hearing set for 9:00 9/22/94 in 5:93-cv-20202, in 5:93-cv-20208 (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93- cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 09/16/1994)

Sept. 16, 1994
16

ORDER to cease and desist by Judge James Ware ( Date Entered: 9/26/94) (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 09/26/1994)

Sept. 22, 1994
17

PROOF OF SERVICE of Order to SHow Cause and Letter [5:93-cv- 20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 09/26/1994)

Sept. 22, 1994
18

ORDER by Judge James Ware to clarify Order to cease and desist ( Date Entered: 9/26/94) (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 09/26/1994)

Sept. 23, 1994
19

OPPOSITION to the contempt motion. [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/04/1994)

Sept. 26, 1994
20

MEMORANDUM in support of opposition [124-1] in 5:93-cv-20202 [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/04/1994)

Sept. 26, 1994
21

EX-PARTE APPLICATION before Judge James Ware to extend time to file opposition to the order to show cause re contempt [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/04/1994)

Sept. 26, 1994
22

DECLARATION by Leo Bazile in support of motion for extention of time [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/04/1994)

Sept. 26, 1994

RECEIVED Order ( ) re motion for order to show cause re contempt [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/04/1994)

Sept. 26, 1994
23

MOTION before Judge James Ware to extend time to file opposition to motion to compel with Notice set for 9/30/94 at 9 am [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/04/1994)

Sept. 27, 1994
24

DECLARATION by Theresa Demchak on behalf of Plaintiff in 5:93-cv- 20202, Plaintiff in 5:93-cv-20208 in reply to opposition of Jerry Varnado to contempt motion [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/04/1994)

Sept. 27, 1994
25

REPLY by Plaintiffs in 5:93-cv-20202 to motion to show cause re contempt [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/04/1994)

Sept. 28, 1994
26

STIPULATION and ORDER by Judge James Ware : re amendment to notice plan (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/04/1994)

Sept. 28, 1994
27

MINUTES: ( C/R Irene Rodriguez) that the motion to compel responses to deposition [99-1] is submitted in 5:93-cv-20202, that the motion for attorney fees [99-2] is submitted in 5:93-cv-20202, that the motion for an injunction against Jimmy Sims, Jewell Kearney, Sims & Associates and others [88-1] is submitted in 5:93-cv-20202 [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv- 20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/04/1994)

Sept. 30, 1994
28

ORDER and special notice by Judge James Ware ( Date Entered: 10/7/94) (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/07/1994)

Sept. 30, 1994
29

ORDER to cease and desist by Judge James Ware ( Date Entered: 10/7/94) (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/07/1994)

Oct. 3, 1994
30

MOTION before Judge James Ware to alter or amend judgment with Notice set for 11/4/94 at 9 am [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cgb, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 10/14/1994)

Oct. 11, 1994
31

MOTION for reconsideration denial of claim. [5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 09/18/1995)

Sept. 15, 1995
32

STIPULATION and ORDER AND AGREE that the distribution of the settlement funds to claimantd shall occur no later than 12/8/95. by Judge James Ware : (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 09/19/1995)

Sept. 18, 1995
33

STIPULATION and ORDER by Judge James Ware : to clarify confidentiality provisions of amended consent decree. (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 07/16/1996)

July 15, 1996
35

STIPULATION and ORDER by Judge James Ware : modifying amended consent decree provision re: date of distribution of residual funds (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 08/29/1996)

Aug. 28, 1996
36

JOINDER by Plaintiff USA in 5:93-cv-20208, defendant TW Services, Inc. in 5:93-cv-20208 report to the court on final accounting of class settlement fund and stipulation extending until 1/20/97 the date for distribution of residual funds and approving final distribution of residual funds. [5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 12/18/1996)

Dec. 18, 1996
37

ORDER by Judge James Ware granting join/joinder [36-1] report to the court on final accounting of class settlement fund and stipulation extending until 1/20/97 the date for distribution of residual funds and approving final distribution of residual funds. ( Date Entered: 12/27/96) (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 12/27/1996)

Dec. 20, 1996
38

STIPULATION and ORDER re: Disclosure of Confidential information by Judge James Ware : (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 03/26/1997)

March 26, 1997
39

STATUS REPORT by Plaintiff USA in 5:93-cv-20208, defendant TW Services, Inc. in 5:93-cv-20208, defendant Denny's Inc. in 5:93-cv-20208 [5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 07/11/1997)

July 11, 1997
40

STIPULATION and ORDER by Judge James Ware : for disbursement of all remaining monies in the class settlement fund, closing of class settlement fund trustee account and relieving claims administrator of its duties and responsibilities under the consent decree (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 07/17/1997)

July 16, 1997
41

FINAL REPORT by Plaintiff USA to the court concerning dfts completion of requirements of the consent decree and recommendation for early dismissal of the decree. [5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 01/16/2001)

Jan. 16, 2001
42

ORDER by Judge James Ware dismissing of the Consent decree Governing this action shall be deemed terminated effective 11/14/00, and the case shall be dismissed.. , dismissing case ( Date Entered: 4/4/01) (cc: all counsel) [5:93-cv-20202, 5:93-cv-20208] (cv, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 04/04/2001)

April 4, 2001

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Disability Rights/Public Accommodations

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 26, 1993

Closing Date: 2001

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Denny's Restaurants, Private Entity/Person

Defendant Type(s):

Restaurant

Case Details

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

Attorneys fees

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $28,000,000

Order Duration: 1993 - 2000

Content of Injunction:

Auditing

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Discrimination Prohibition

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Monitor/Master

Monitoring

Provide antidiscrimination training

Recordkeeping

Reporting

Retaliation Prohibition

Issues

General:

Access to public accommodations - privately owned

Racial profiling

Discrimination-area:

Harassment / Hostile Work Environment

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

Type of Facility:

Non-government for profit