University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Fitzgerald v. City of Los Angeles PB-CA-0006
Docket / Court 03-1875 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Southern California
Hadsell, Stormer & Renick
Case Summary
On March 18, 2003, attorneys from the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the City of Los Angeles. The plaintiffs challenged unlawful parole sweeps and parole searches in the Skid Row section of ... read more >
On March 18, 2003, attorneys from the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the City of Los Angeles. The plaintiffs challenged unlawful parole sweeps and parole searches in the Skid Row section of the city. In a study, the ACLU found that seventy percent of the people picked up either had no violations or had never been on parole or probation.

In December 2003 the City agreed to entry of a a three year

injunction prohibiting the LAPD from searching Skid Row residents without reasonable suspicion that they have committed a crime or violated probation or parole. At the end of that three-year period, the plaintiff class petitioned the U.S. District Court to extend the 2003 injunction for an additional 3 years,

based on evidence that LAPD was again unlawfully searching and detaining residents without reason to believe they had committed a crime or violated probation or parole. On April 24, 2007, the Court found that the LAPD continued to engage in unconstitutional searches and maintain unconstitutional search policies, and extend the injunction for four months to allow the City to bring their policies and practices into compliance with the Constitution.

In August 2007, the plaintiffs again moved for extension of the

injunction, based on the lack of any change in LAPD search policies and continuing unconstitutional searches and detentions by LAPD officers in Skid Row. The court extended the injunction while the parties entered settlement discussions around LAPD's search and detention policies on Skid Row.

On February 17, 2009, the parties entered into another settlement agreement, which lifted the present injunction and dismissed the case. Under this agreement, searches incident to arrest would not be permitted when the person is merely cited and released in the field for an infraction or misdemeanor. Suspicionless searches of parolees would be permitted as long as the officers have prior knowledge of the search subject's parole status, and the search is not arbitrary or harassing. In order to frisk persons for weapons, the officers must have a reasonable suspicion that the search subject is armed or dangerous. Warrant checks were to be permitted on all detainees, within a reasonable time frame. Officers were to be trained in the proper way to carry out these provisions.

Kristen Sagar - 06/20/2009


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) City of Los Angeles
Plaintiff Description homeless individuals on Skid Row
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Southern California
Hadsell, Stormer & Renick
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2003 - 2006
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:03-cv-01876-DDP-RZ (C.D. Cal.) 04/07/2009
PB-CA-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Settlement and Order 02/17/2009
PB-CA-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion for Attorney's Fees 04/07/2009 (2009 WL 960825) (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0006-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Pregerson, Dean D. (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0006-0001 | PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Zarefsky, Ralph (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PB-CA-0006-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bibring, Peter (California)
PB-CA-0006-0001 | PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Eliasberg, Peter J. (California)
PB-CA-0006-0001 | PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Mirmirani, Negin (California)
PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Paul, Sanjukta (California)
PB-CA-0006-9000
Richardson, Anne (California)
PB-CA-0006-9000
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California)
PB-CA-0006-0001 | PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Simon, Yvonne Tania (California)
PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Sobel, Carol A. (California)
PB-CA-0006-0001 | PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Stormer, Dan Lewis (California)
PB-CA-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brente, Cory M. (California)
PB-CA-0006-0001 | PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Kades, Kelly N. (California)
PB-CA-0006-0001 | PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Monroe, Bruce (California)
PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Paquette, Paul N. (California)
PB-CA-0006-9000
Shapero, Wendy C. (California)
PB-CA-0006-0001 | PB-CA-0006-0002 | PB-CA-0006-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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