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Case Name United States v. City of Miami EE-FL-0130
Docket / Court 1:75-cv-03096-PAS ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On December 29, 1975, the United States filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fourteenth Amendment, and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983 against the City of Miami, various city officials, and several police unions. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District ... read more >
On December 29, 1975, the United States filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fourteenth Amendment, and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983 against the City of Miami, various city officials, and several police unions. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of African American, Hispanic, and female applicants and employees of the Miami Police Department. The complaint sought injunctive relief, and alleged that defendants discriminated in their hiring and promotion decisions.

In 1977, the District Court (Judge Joe Eaton) approved a consent decree over the objection of the Fraternal Order of the Police ("FOP"). The consent decree required the City to establish promotional goals for protected minority groups and prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, or gender.

In 1980, the FOP appealed the district court's approval of the consent decree. The Fifth Circuit (now the Eleventh Circuit) approved the consent decree and remanded it to the district court to exercise supervisory jurisdiction over compliance. United States v. City of Miami, 614 F.2d 1322 (5th Cir. 1980) (Judges Homer Thornberry, Iriving Loeb Goldberg, and Thomas Gibbs Gee). Upon further appeal by the FOP, the Fifth Circuit granted a rehearing en banc. The Eleventh Circuit (en banc) approved the decree's provisions, but held those provisions applying to the FOP to be invalid since the FOP had not consented to the decree. United States v. City of Miami, 664 F.2d 435 (11th Cir. 1981).

On remand, the district court (Judge Eaton) entered a consent order on April 14, 1983, to which the FOP consented. This consent decree maintained in full force and effect the provisions of the earlier consent decree.

In 1979, the City of Miami enacted Ordinance 8977 in response to the consent decree. Ordinance 8977 expanded the list of eligible candidates from which selecting officials may consider for promotion, increasing the number of qualified black, Latino, female, as well as white, Anglo, and male candidates considered for promotion. Within four years of the City enacting this ordinance, the Miami Fire Department promoted seven Anglo men, six Latin males, and three black males. Without the ordinance, Anglo males would have received sixteen of the seventeen promotions, just one Latin male would have received a promotion, and no black males would have received a promotion.

The Miami Fire Department filed an action in state court seeking to enjoin the City from enacting the Ordinance. The state court action was dismissed and the U.S. District Court took jurisdiction of the claim since it involved the interpretation and enforcement of the 1977 consent decree. The court (Judge James W. Kehoe) held that the Miami Fire Department was bound by the consent entered into by the City and that the consent decree did not violate any laws. United States v. City of Miami, No. 75-3096, 1983 WL 532 (S.D. Fla. June 1, 1983).

The Fire Department again challenged Ordinance 8977 stating that it conflicted with its rights to collectively bargain with their Union concerning wages and working conditions. The Fire Department alternatively argued that the ordinance required it to promote unqualified, minority candidates. The district court (Judge Kehoe) held that the ordinance pertained to hiring and promotion, not wages and conditions. The court further held that the ordinance only required the Fire Department to look at a larger number of qualified candidates and increase the Fire Departments flexibility to consider all qualified candidates. The court further noted that the Fire Department still hired and promoted a disproportionate number of Anglo males. United States v. City of Miami, Florida, No. 75-3096, 1990 WL 130005 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 9, 1990).

In 1993, the FOP filed two civil contempt motions against the City for consent decree violations stemming from the promotion of minority police officers to the rank of lieutenant even though, the FOP stated, these officers did not have the necessary minimum exam score to be considered for the promotion. The FOP argued the city was basing its promotion decisions solely on race in violation of the consent decree.

On March 13, 1998, the district court (Judge Kehoe) granted the FOP's motions and awarded broad, make-whole monetary relief to all adversely affected police officers as if each would have actually received a promotion.

On May 4, 1999, the district court issued an order superseding the 1977 consent decree with respect to certain positions within the Police Department. Under the order, the City was obligated to file reports every four months until the expiration of the order, describing its progress.

On November 17, 1999, the Eleventh Circuit (Judge Anderson, Chief Judge Stanley Marcus, and Senior District Judge Richard Mills) vacated and remanded the district court's decision holding that the remedial award should have been divided in a pro rata amount among the adversely affected officers. United States v. City of Miami, 195 F.3d 1292 (11th Cir. 1999), reh'g en banc denied, 209 F.3d 726 (2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 815 (2000).

The case is still ongoing, as the City continues to file reports on its compliance with the 1999 order. As of this writing, the City had filed 44 reports, describing its progress.

The docket available from PACER is incomplete; it begins in 1997.

Emilee Baker - 08/29/2007
Zhandos Kuderin - 07/16/2014
Claire Lally - 03/22/2015

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Goals and Timekeeping
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Retroactive Senority
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1983
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) City of Miami
Fraternal Order of the Police
Plaintiff Description African American, Hispanic, and female applicants and employees of the Miami Police Department
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1977 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

1:75-cv-03096-SH (S.D. Fla.) 03/20/2014
EE-FL-0130-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 04/10/1980 (614 F.2d 1322)
EE-FL-0130-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 12/03/1981 (664 F.2d 435)
EE-FL-0130-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 06/01/1983 (1983 WL 532 / 1983 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 16544) (S.D. Fla.)
EE-FL-0130-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order 01/09/1990 (1990 WL 130005 / 1990 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 3881) (S.D. Fla.)
EE-FL-0130-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 11/17/1999 (195 F.3d 1292)
EE-FL-0130-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 02/11/2000 (209 F.3d 726)
EE-FL-0130-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Opinion 10/02/2000 (531 U.S. 815)
EE-FL-0130-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Notice of Compliance and 24th Report to the Department of Justice 05/11/2007
EE-FL-0130-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Ainsworth, Robert Andrew Jr. (E.D. La., Fifth Circuit)
Anderson, Robert Lanier III (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
EE-FL-0130-0002 | EE-FL-0130-0003
Brown, John Robert (Fifth Circuit)
Clark, Thomas Alonzo (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
Clark, Charles (Fifth Circuit)
Fay, Peter Thorp (Eleventh Circuit, S.D. Fla., Fifth Circuit)
Garza, Reynaldo Guerra (S.D. Tex., Fifth Circuit)
Gee, Thomas Gibbs (Fifth Circuit)
EE-FL-0130-0003 | EE-FL-0130-0004
Godbold, John Cooper (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Fifth Circuit)
Hatchett, Joseph Woodrow (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit) [Magistrate]
Henderson, Albert John (Eleventh Circuit, N.D. Ga., Fifth Circuit)
Hill, James Clinkscales (Eleventh Circuit, N.D. Ga., Fifth Circuit)
Johnson, Frank Minis Jr. (M.D. Ala., Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
Johnson, Samuel D. Jr. (Fifth Circuit)
Kehoe, James W. (S.D. Fla.)
EE-FL-0130-0006 | EE-FL-0130-0008
King, Carolyn Dineen (Fifth Circuit)
Kravitch, Phyllis A. (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
Marcus, Stanley (S.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit)
Mills, Richard Henry (C.D. Ill.)
Politz, Henry Anthony (Fifth Circuit)
Reavley, Thomas Morrow (Fifth Circuit)
Roney, Paul Hitch (Eleventh Circuit, FISCR, Fifth Circuit)
Rubin, Alvin Benjamin (E.D. La., Fifth Circuit)
Seitz, Patricia A. (S.D. Fla.)
Tate, Albert Jr. (Fifth Circuit)
Thornberry, William Homer (W.D. Tex., Fifth Circuit)
Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (Eleventh Circuit, M.D. Fla., Fifth Circuit)
Vance, Robert Smith (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
Williams, Jerre Stockton (Fifth Circuit)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bachman, Eric (District of Columbia)
Bell, Griffin Boyette (Georgia)
Bricker, Myrna D. (District of Columbia)
Days, Drew S. III (District of Columbia)
Dimsey, Dennis J. (District of Columbia)
Erickson−Pogorzelski, Anthony (District of Columbia)
Keefer, William A. (Florida)
Lander, Esther G. (District of Columbia)
Landsberg, Brian K. (District of Columbia)
Matesich, Mildred M. (District of Columbia)
McElderry, Marie K. (District of Columbia)
Padgett, Squire (District of Columbia)
EE-FL-0130-0003 | EE-FL-0130-0004
Rios-Gandara, Maria H (District of Columbia)
Rose, David L. (District of Columbia)
EE-FL-0130-0003 | EE-FL-0130-0004
Weiss, Carolyn P. (District of Columbia)
Defendant's Lawyers Cohen, Ronald Jay (Florida)
Kaufman, Stuart Andrew (Florida)
Klausner, Robert David (Florida)
EE-FL-0130-0002 | EE-FL-0130-0003 | EE-FL-0130-9000
Knox, George (Florida)
EE-FL-0130-0003 | EE-FL-0130-0004
Smith, Albertine B. (Florida)
EE-FL-0130-0002 | EE-FL-0130-9000
Turin, Mimi Vivien (Florida)
EE-FL-0130-0001 | EE-FL-0130-9000
Valdes, Teri Guttman (Florida)
Vizcaino, Diana (Florida)
Weinsoff, Irving (Florida)
Other Lawyers Behren, Scott M. (Florida)
Crawford, Sarah (District of Columbia)
Cypen, Stephen H. (Florida)
Losak-Jimenez, Joyce (Florida)
Sharp, Christopher Charles (Florida)
Wiggins, Audrey (District of Columbia)

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