Case: Lawrence v. Saenz

2:04-cv-01723 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

Filed Date: Aug. 23, 2004

Closed Date: Feb. 1, 2005

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case was brought in the U.S. District Court of California for the Eastern District of California on August 23, 2004 by the Alliance Defense Fund ( a legal alliance defending religious liberty) against the California Department of Social Services, alleging unjustifiable restrictions on the free speech and expression rights of a Department employee. Officials in the department had removed from the employee's cubicle a sign that read "Marriage: One Man One Woman" and another; "Jesus Spoken H…

This case was brought in the U.S. District Court of California for the Eastern District of California on August 23, 2004 by the Alliance Defense Fund ( a legal alliance defending religious liberty) against the California Department of Social Services, alleging unjustifiable restrictions on the free speech and expression rights of a Department employee. Officials in the department had removed from the employee's cubicle a sign that read "Marriage: One Man One Woman" and another; "Jesus Spoken Here" claiming they violated the Department's Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment and Unprofessional Conduct.

About a month later, the court (Judge William B. Shubb) stayed all proceedings in the case so that the parties could try to settle it. They were successful, and on December 27, 2004, the plaintiff agreed to voluntarily dismiss his complaint in exchange for $2,750 and assurances that no reference to the events addressed would ever be present in his official personnel file, that the Department would clarify its Policy Prohibiting Sexual

Harassment and Unprofessional Conduct to specify that an employee is not subject to discipline merely because someone might or does disagree with the point of view expressed by that employee, and that plaintiff would be permitted to place expressive items in his cubicle, including some he had previously been instructed to remove.

Summary Authors

Denise Heberle (8/6/2012)

People


Judge(s)

Nowinski, Peter A. (California)

Shubb, William B. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bull, Benjamin W. (Arizona)

Carden, Joshua W. (Arizona)

Koons, Kevin D. (Indiana)

McCaleb, Gary S. (Arizona)

Tyler, Robert H. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bass, David Ira (California)

Lockyer, Bill (California)

Scally, Vincent J. (California)

Judge(s)

Nowinski, Peter A. (California)

Shubb, William B. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bull, Benjamin W. (Arizona)

Carden, Joshua W. (Arizona)

Koons, Kevin D. (Indiana)

McCaleb, Gary S. (Arizona)

Tyler, Robert H. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bass, David Ira (California)

Lockyer, Bill (California)

Scally, Vincent J. (California)

Other Attorney(s)

Appelsmith, Jacob A. (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

March 8, 2006 Docket

Alliance Defense Fund Press Release: "Calif. Dept. of Social Services to employee: Feel free to express yourself...unless we don't like it"

No Court

Aug. 23, 2004 Press Release

Notice of Dismissal

Dec. 27, 2004 Pleading / Motion / Brief
7-1 & 7-2

Settlement Agreement and Release

Dec. 27, 2004 Settlement Agreement

Docket

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

VERIFIED COMPLAINT; Fee status Paid, Receipt # 202 11946, Assigned to Judge William B Shubb referred to Magistrate Judge Peter Nowinski (lm) (Entered: 08/24/2004)

Aug. 23, 2004
2

ORDER setting scheduling conference for 9:00 11/1/04 before Judge William B Shubb (lm) (Entered: 08/24/2004)

Aug. 23, 2004
3

DISCOVERY ORDER by Magistrate Judge Peter A Nowinski informing the parties on the procedure to follow in pursuing this action (lm) (Entered: 08/24/2004)

Aug. 23, 2004

LODGED Pro Hac Vice Application for Joshua W Carden by Pltf Enoch David Lawrence (lm) (Entered: 08/24/2004)

Aug. 23, 2004
4

ORDER by Judge William B Shubb ORDERING that the Pro Hac Vice Application is GRANTED; Atty Joshua W Carden allowed to appear pro hac vice for Pltf Enoch David Lawrence (cc: all counsel) (lm) (Entered: 08/24/2004)

Aug. 24, 2004
5

ORDER by Judge William B Shubb ORDERING that the Pro Hac Vice Application is GRANTED; Atty Gary S McCaleb allowed to appear pro hac vice for Pltf Enoch David Lawrence (cc: all counsel) (lm) (Entered: 08/24/2004)

Aug. 24, 2004

LODGED Joint Stipulation and proposed order to Stay all proceedings pending good faith settlement negotiations by Pltf Enoch David Lawrence, Dft Rita Saenz (lm) (Entered: 09/24/2004)

Sept. 23, 2004
6

ORDER by Judge William B. Shubb ORDERING stipulation to stay all proceedings pending good faith settlement negotiations GRANTED; Case STAYED ; scheduling conference RESET for 9:00 11/29/04 (cc: all counsel) (daw) (Entered: 09/27/2004)

Sept. 27, 2004
7

NOTICE of DISMISSAL by Rita Saenz. (Attachments: #(1) Stipulated Settlement Agreement Part 1 #(2) Stipulated Settlement Agreement Part 2)(Bass, David) Modified on 2/2/2005 (Forester, C). (Entered: 02/01/2005)

Feb. 1, 2005
8

CERTIFICATE of SERVICE by Rita Saenz (Bass, David) (Entered: 02/01/2005)

Feb. 1, 2005
9

NOTICE OF TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT notifying parties that due to the retirement of Magistrate Judge Peter A. Nowinski, this action is temporarily reassigned to Magistrate Judge John F. Moulds. (Reader, L) (Entered: 03/08/2006)

March 8, 2006

SERVICE BY MAIL: 9 Notice PAN Reassignment served on Gary S McCaleb (Reader, L) (Entered: 03/08/2006)

March 8, 2006

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 23, 2004

Closing Date: Feb. 1, 2005

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

An employee of the California Department of Social Services whose officials allegedly unjustifiably subjected the employee to restrictions on his rights to free speech and expression.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

California Department of Social Services, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

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

Content of Injunction:

Expungement of Employment Record

Retaliation Prohibition

Issues

Discrimination-area:

Discipline

Type of Facility:

Government-run