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Case Name Becker v. District of Columbia PN-DC-0017
Docket / Court 1:01-cv-00811 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
Case Summary
This class-action litigation arose out of the April 15, 2000, mass arrest of more than 670 people protesting upcoming World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings by Washington, D.C., and federal law enforcement. The original complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of ... read more >
This class-action litigation arose out of the April 15, 2000, mass arrest of more than 670 people protesting upcoming World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings by Washington, D.C., and federal law enforcement. The original complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on April 13, 2001, by 33 named plaintiffs, including individuals and organizations (the number of named plaintiffs shrunk to 14 by the time the court approved the settlement in the case in July 2010, and the caption name of the case changed at least twice due to plaintiffs terminating their involvement with the suit). Included in the suit were eight individual plaintiffs whose claims arose out of incidents at different locations or times from the mass arrest.

The plaintiffs sued the District of Columbia government, the Chief and Executive Assistant Chief of Operations of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in DC, the MPD, a number of MPD officers, the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and a number of federal law enforcement agencies and officers, seeking monetary and declaratory relief for violations of their First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights, as well as false arrest, false imprisonment, assault, and battery. In addition, the plaintiffs also sought expungement of records of their arrests by both the District of Columbia and the federal government. The case was assigned to Judge Paul L. Friedman and Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola.

The plaintiffs filed for class certification on October 30, 2001. After the parties litigated various legal disputes for nearly five years, Magistrate Facciola recommended the class certification be approved, and Judge Friedman adopted his recommendation in full, granting the class certification on October 13, 2006. The class approved consisted of "[a]ll persons detained and arrested in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 2000, near 20 Street, N.W. and I and K Streets, N.W. in connection with the protest against the Prison Industrial Complex during the IMF/World Bank demonstrations."

In August 2006, Judge Friedman adopted in full another recommendation from Magistrate Judge Facciola, dismissing the plaintiffs’ demand for declaratory relief because the plaintiffs lacked standing.

In late 2009, the plaintiffs agreed to a settlement with the District of Columbia defendants, whereby the District of Columbia would pay a total of $13,302,500, divided as follows: $700,000 to the 14 class representatives ($50,000 each); $9,180,000 to settle the claims of all other eligible class members (no more than $18,000 per individual); $3,272,500 in attorneys’ fees; and $150,000 to provide for notification to eligible class members and administration of the settlement agreement and funds. The eight individual, non-class plaintiffs also received a collective total of $425,000 in the settlement.

In addition to the payments, the MPD agreed to require officers undergo additional training on First Amendment and mass demonstration policies and implement other changes to its practices for handling protests and similar First Amendment-protected events for a time period of three years. The settlement also declared the arrests of all class members null and void, and the District of Columbia agreed to expunge their arrest records and seek similar expungements from the federal government and any other states that might have the records, where applicable.

The final settlement was approved on July 15, 2010, and its terms stated the case would be dismissed with prejudice after three years. No public record of the exact date of dismissal has been found, so the case is now presumably closed.

Ben Marvin-Vanderryn - 11/03/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Training
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
False arrest
Over/Unlawful Detention
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
Defendant(s) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
Charles H. Ramsey
District of Columbia
District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department
Drug Enforcement Administration
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Emergency Management Agency
National Park Service
Terrance W. Gainer
United States of America
United States Park Police
United States Secret Service
Plaintiff Description All persons who were detained and arrested on April 15, 2000, near the area of 20 Street, N.W. and I and K Streets, N.W. in connection with the protest against the Prison Industrial Complex during the IMF/World Bank demonstrations.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2010 - 2013
Filed 04/13/2001
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
11/23/2010
1:01-cv-00811-PLF
PN-DC-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
08/09/2006
Report and Recommendation [ECF# 238]
PN-DC-0017-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
08/22/2006
Report and Recommendation [ECF# 240]
PN-DC-0017-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
06/24/2010
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 358-5]
PN-DC-0017-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Facciola, John M. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-0002 | PN-DC-0017-0003
Friedman, Paul L. (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Klimaski, James R (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Messineo, Carl L (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-0001 | PN-DC-0017-9000
Nickles, Peter J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-0001
Onisko, Merrilyn Anne (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Schember, Daniel McCrea (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Verheyden-Hilliard, Mara E (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Weinglass, Leonard I (New York) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Wolfe, Zachary J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Copeland, Chad Wayne (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Efros, Ellen A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Hashmi, Aaishah (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Koger, Thomas Louis (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Leidenheimer, Robert Ernest Jr (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Love, Richard Stuart (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Matini, Shana Lyn (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Mullen, Martha J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Parris, Lori S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Pressley, Monique Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Shine, Edith Margeurita (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Smith, Peter S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000
Utiger, Robert C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0017-9000

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