University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Her v. Freeman PN-CA-0009
Docket / Court 97-1413 ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
On August 1, 1997, attorneys from the ACLU of Northern California filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California on behalf the family of Vang Her, alleging police misconduct by Yuba County Sheriff's deputies. The ... read more >
On August 1, 1997, attorneys from the ACLU of Northern California filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California on behalf the family of Vang Her, alleging police misconduct by Yuba County Sheriff's deputies. The Her family are Hmong, originally from Southeast Asia.

Plaintiffs' complaint alleged that in the course of an investigation of a neighbor's complaint that Her's three-year old child fired a BB gun, Yuba County deputies subjected the family to unconstitutional searches and seizures, denied their requests for a translator, detained the entire family, which included seven children, at the Sheriff's station and interrogated Hers' 10-year-old daughter in a police cruiser without parental consent. The complaint further alleged that in a subsequent incident, Sheriff's deputies appeared at the Her residence without warrants and rounded up the adult occupants for detention and transportation to the station. Plaintiffs also alleged that deputies went to the Her children's elementary schools and removed three Her children from class without the knowledge or consent of their parents. Deputies never located a BB gun and criminal charges were not lodged against anyone in the Her family.

On February 26, 1999, district court Chief Judge William B. Shubb granted defendants' motion for summary judgment in part and denied it in part. Claims against certain individual defendants were dismissed.

Thereafter, the parties reached a settlement of the case. On October 6, 1999, the court entered a consent judgment, which included the agreement that Yuba County adopt and enforce all General Orders drafted and modified by counsel for the parties, including new general orders pertaining to hate crimes, search and seizure, and detention of juveniles and that the County complete the translation of certain Yuba County Sheriff's Department written materials into the Hmong, Spanish, and Punjabi languages.

Dan Dalton - 12/28/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
General
Racial profiling
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Yuba County
Yuba County Sheriff's Department
Plaintiff Description Residents of Yuba County alleging unlawful entering of their residence, illegally detaining, arresting and transporting them, illegally searching the residence and illegally removing them from school to transport them to Sheriff's facility for questioning
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1999 - 2002
Case Closing Year 2002
Case Ongoing No
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)
97-1413 (E.D. Cal.) 10/06/1999
PN-CA-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Damages; Demand for Jury Trial 08/01/1997
PN-CA-0009-0003.pdf | Detail
Stipulated Consent Decree 09/28/1999
PN-CA-0009-0002.pdf | Detail
ACLU Announces Settlement in Hmong Family's Lawsuit Against Yuba County Sheriff's Dept. 10/04/1999
PN-CA-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Judges Shubb, William B. (E.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0009-0002 | PN-CA-0009-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Crew, John (California)
PN-CA-0009-0001 | PN-CA-0009-0002
Evans, Kelli M. (California)
PN-CA-0009-0003
Merin, Mark E. (California)
PN-CA-0009-0001 | PN-CA-0009-0002 | PN-CA-0009-0003 | PN-CA-0009-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Montgomery, Daniel George (California)
PN-CA-0009-9000
O'Brien, John M. (California)
PN-CA-0009-0002 | PN-CA-0009-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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