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Case Name L.A. County Sheriff's Department (Kolts Report and Implementation) PN-CA-0001
Docket / Court No Court Case ( No Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
In the summer of 1991, following four controversial officer-involved shootings of minorities, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed Judge James G. Kolts to lead an inquiry into the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) and its handling of brutality complaints.

Judge ... read more >
In the summer of 1991, following four controversial officer-involved shootings of minorities, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed Judge James G. Kolts to lead an inquiry into the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) and its handling of brutality complaints.

Judge Kolts appointed attorney Merrick Bobb as general counsel to lead the inquiry. Mr. Bobb was previously part of the Christopher Commission's investigation of the LAPD in the wake of the Rodney King incident. He assembled a team of more than 60 lawyers, accountants and other professionals, who conducted a six month investigation. The probe included holding public hearings to gather citizen input and reviewing some 124 civil cases brought in 1987 through 1992 against LASD deputies for excessive force.

In July 1992 the Kolts Commission issued its 358-page "Kolts Report," an in-depth analysis of LASD's operations, with particular focus on the department's handling of brutality claims. The report note large scale incidents of brutality and excessive force by deputies, coupled with lax discipline and supervision. Of the 124 civil cases the team reviewed, it noted that the LASD paid out in excess of 18 million dollars in settlements and verdicts.

The Kolts Commission made recommendations for wholesale changes in departmental policies. The key recommendation was for the LASD to emphasize at every level of its command structure that excessive force would not be tolerated by the department. The commission also recommended direct civilian involvement and oversight in the review process of citizen complaints. Other primary recommendations included (1) implementing a department-wide use-of-force reporting and tracking system, (2) creation of a formal policy banning head strikes to suspects, unless deadly force would be justified, (3) putting an end to the practice of discouraging citizens from filing complaints of misconduct, and (4) aggressively disciplining officers engaged in brutality and the overhaul of the internal affairs bureau.

Following the issuance of Kolts Report, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt its recommendations and retained Merrick Bobb as special counsel to continue to monitor the LASD and prepare semiannual reports describing the progress made by the LASD to implement departmental reforms targeted to ensure that "the LASD is doing all it could and should to prevent avoidable and unnecessary injury or death in the jails and on the streets." (25th Semiannual Report).

Special Counsel Merrick Bobb and his staff oversaw the LASD, initially for a three year period, which was later extended. Bobb's team has continued its oversight and to date has issued 31 semi-annual reports as of 07/09/2012, addressing myriad issues facing the LASD, including, excessive force (29th Semiannual Report), in-service training, use of canines, shootings (30th Semiannual Report) handling of mentally ill suspects and county jail operations, identification of problem officers and remediation, (27th Semiannual Report), prisoner complaint processes (28th Semiannual Report), how pregnancy is handled in the jail system (25th Semiannual report), the treatment of prisoners with immigration detainers (28th Semiannual Report).

It appears that the semi-annual reporting will continue into the foreseeable future.

Blase Kearney - 07/09/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Monitor/Master
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Communication skills
Conditions of confinement
Confidentiality
Confinement/isolation
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
False arrest
Grievance Procedures
Improper treatment of mentally ill suspects
Improper use of canines
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Over/Unlawful Detention
Pattern or Practice
Pepper/OC spray
Racial profiling
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Search policies
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) Los Angeles Country Sherrif's Department
Plaintiff Description Independent investigative body (James G. Kolts and Merrick Bobb), appointed to conduct investigation of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PN-CA-0003 : Thomas v. County of Los Angeles (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0021 : Musso v. County of Los Angeles (State Court)
JC-CA-0052 : Beaudoin v. County of Los Angeles (State Court)
JC-CA-0002 : CRIPA Investigation, Los Angeles County (CA) (No Court)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
Citation: Forthcoming, 87 Washington L. Rev. __ (2012).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 1st Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 09/01/1993
PN-CA-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 2nd Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 04/01/1994
PN-CA-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 3rd Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 12/01/1994
PN-CA-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 4th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 06/01/1995
PN-CA-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 5th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 02/01/1996
PN-CA-0001-0005 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 6th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 09/01/1996
PN-CA-0001-0006 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 7th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 04/01/1997
PN-CA-0001-0007 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 8th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 10/01/1997
PN-CA-0001-0008 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 9th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 06/01/1998
PN-CA-0001-0009 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 10th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 02/01/1999
PN-CA-0001-0010 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 11th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 10/01/1999
PN-CA-0001-0011 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 12th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 06/01/2000
PN-CA-0001-0012 PDF | Detail
Special Report: The Death of Kevin Evans 10/30/2000
PN-CA-0001-0022 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 13th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 12/01/2000
PN-CA-0001-0013 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 14th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 10/01/2001
PN-CA-0001-0014 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 15th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 02/01/2002
PN-CA-0001-0015 PDF | Detail
LA County Sheriff's Department - Report by Special Counsel James G. Kolts and Staff 07/01/2002
PN-CA-0001-0023 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 16th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 02/01/2003
PN-CA-0001-0016 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 17th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 11/01/2003
PN-CA-0001-0017 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 18th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 08/01/2004
PN-CA-0001-0018 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 19th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 02/01/2005
PN-CA-0001-0019 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 20th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 08/01/2005
PN-CA-0001-0020 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 21st Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 03/01/2006
PN-CA-0001-0021 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 22nd Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 08/01/2006
PN-CA-0001-0024 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 23rd Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 04/01/2007
PN-CA-0001-0025 PDF | Detail
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: 24th Semiannual Report by Special Counsel Merrick J. Bobb & Staff 12/01/2007
PN-CA-0001-0026 PDF | Detail
25th Semiannual Report 07/01/2008
PN-CA-0001-0027 PDF | Detail
26th Semiannual Report 02/01/2009
PN-CA-0001-0028 PDF | Detail
27th Semiannual Report 08/01/2009
PN-CA-0001-0029 PDF | Detail
28th Semiannual Report 10/01/2009
PN-CA-0001-0030 PDF | Detail
29th Semiannual Report 07/01/2010
PN-CA-0001-0031 PDF | Detail
30th Semiannual Report 09/01/2011
PN-CA-0001-0032 PDF | Detail
31st Semiannual Report 05/01/2012
PN-CA-0001-0033 PDF | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters Bobb, Merrick J. (California)
PN-CA-0001-0001 | PN-CA-0001-0002 | PN-CA-0001-0003 | PN-CA-0001-0004 | PN-CA-0001-0005 | PN-CA-0001-0006 | PN-CA-0001-0007 | PN-CA-0001-0008 | PN-CA-0001-0009 | PN-CA-0001-0010 | PN-CA-0001-0011 | PN-CA-0001-0012 | PN-CA-0001-0013 | PN-CA-0001-0014 | PN-CA-0001-0015 | PN-CA-0001-0016 | PN-CA-0001-0017 | PN-CA-0001-0018 | PN-CA-0001-0019 | PN-CA-0001-0020 | PN-CA-0001-0021 | PN-CA-0001-0022 | PN-CA-0001-0024 | PN-CA-0001-0025 | PN-CA-0001-0026 | PN-CA-0001-0027 | PN-CA-0001-0028 | PN-CA-0001-0029 | PN-CA-0001-0030 | PN-CA-0001-0031 | PN-CA-0001-0032 | PN-CA-0001-0033
Kolts, James G. (California)
PN-CA-0001-0023
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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