University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Williams v. City of Antioch FH-CA-0006
Docket / Court 4:08-cv-02301-SBA ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Impact Fund
Case Summary
On May 2, 2008, five African-American residents of Antioch, California filed this class-action lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the City of Antioch and its police department for allegedly engaging in a discriminatory campaign that ... read more >
On May 2, 2008, five African-American residents of Antioch, California filed this class-action lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the City of Antioch and its police department for allegedly engaging in a discriminatory campaign that targeted African-American households whom the city believed to be receiving Section 8 housing rent assistance. The plaintiffs claimed that the alleged campaign violated the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq.), 42 U.S.C. 1983, and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, as well as a number of California statutes. Representing the plaintiffs were the Impact Fund, Public Advocates Inc., Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the police department (1) unlawfully searched the homes of African-American Section 8 families without their consent or a warrant; (2) threatened the families' landlords by suggesting they would be liable for the activities of their Section 8 tenants; (3) encouraged neighbors of the African-American Section 8 families to file nuisance reports against them; and (4) put pressure on the local Housing Authority in charge of the Section 8 program in order to try and terminate the voucher benefits of the tenants being targeted, seventy percent of whom were African-American.

On September 2, 2010, the Court granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification, defining the class as "all African-Americans who have held, currently hold, or may hold Section 8 housing vouchers, and all members of their households, who reside, have resided or will reside, in the City of Antioch." 2010 WL 3632197 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 2, 2010). Also on September 2, the Court granted the defendant's motion for judgment on the pleading seeking to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims for statutory damages under California law on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to comply with the Government Tort Claims Act. 2010 WL 3632199 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 2, 2010).

On December 20, 2010, both parties filed a joint motion for approval of class action settlement. Among various other provisions, the settlement provided that (1) the City of Antioch will not publicly identify Africa-American Section 8 recipients; (2) the City will not focus on African-American Section 8 recipients on the basis of their race or Section 8 status in its policing efforts, except when using race to identify a suspect; (3) the City will pay $180,000 to be divided equally among the five named plaintiffs; (4) the City will pay $180,000 in attorney's fees and costs; and (5) class members who are not named plaintiffs release their injunctive and declaratory relief claims, but do not release any individual claims for monetary relief. The plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the suit with prejudice.

On April 6, 2012, the court (Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong) dismissed the case with prejudice. The court retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement for three years.

Jordan Rossen - 06/07/2010
Asma Husain - 11/19/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitoring
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Housing
Racial segregation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of Antioch
Plaintiff Description Five African-American residents of Antioch, California on behalf of all African-American households whom the city believed to be receiving Section 8 housing rent assistance.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Impact Fund
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
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 2012 - 2015
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Written: Dec. 04, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
08−2301−SBA (N.D. Cal.) 04/06/2012
FH-CA-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint 07/16/2008
FH-CA-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Press Release: "Federal Class Action Against City of Antioch Documents Police Targeting of African American Tenants" 07/16/2008
FH-CA-0006-0003.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification and Supporting Points and Authorities 10/26/2009
FH-CA-0006-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings 09/02/2010 (2010 WL 3632199) (N.D. Cal.)
FH-CA-0006-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Joint Motion for Approval of Class Action Settlement 12/20/2011
FH-CA-0006-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Dismissal Order 04/03/2012 (N.D. Cal.)
FH-CA-0006-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Armstrong, Saundra Brown (N.D. Cal.)
FH-CA-0006-0004 | FH-CA-0006-0005 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Corley, Jacqueline Scott (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
FH-CA-0006-9000
Laporte, Elizabeth D. (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
FH-CA-0006-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Capistrano, Robert P. (California)
FH-CA-0006-9000
Forster, Charles D. Jr. (California)
FH-CA-0006-0001 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Fox-Davis, Kendra (California)
FH-CA-0006-0001 | FH-CA-0006-0002 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Gilliam, Haywood Stirling Jr. (California)
FH-CA-0006-0002 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Kennamer, Frank B. (California)
FH-CA-0006-0002
Kim, Susan (California)
FH-CA-0006-9000
Larkin, Jocelyn Dion (California)
FH-CA-0006-0001 | FH-CA-0006-0002 | FH-CA-0006-0006 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Levin, David Matt (California)
FH-CA-0006-9000
Marcantonio, Richard A. (California)
FH-CA-0006-0001 | FH-CA-0006-0002 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Rodriguez, Michelle Natividad (California)
FH-CA-0006-0001 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California)
FH-CA-0006-0001 | FH-CA-0006-0002 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Segura, Andre Ivan (California)
FH-CA-0006-0002 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Seligman, Brad (California)
FH-CA-0006-0001 | FH-CA-0006-0002 | FH-CA-0006-0006 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Sellstrom, Oren M. (California)
FH-CA-0006-0001 | FH-CA-0006-0002 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Siegfried, Katherine Rose (California)
FH-CA-0006-9000
Slonecker, Abigail Conzatti (California)
FH-CA-0006-0002 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Soria, Alvaro D. (California)
FH-CA-0006-0001 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Tarricone, Jason Holland (California)
FH-CA-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beatty, Thomas G. (California)
FH-CA-0006-0006 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Blechman, Noah G. (California)
FH-CA-0006-9000
Fitzgerald, James V. III. (California)
FH-CA-0006-0006 | FH-CA-0006-9000
Geiger, Thomas Lawrence (California)
FH-CA-0006-9000
Kobayashi, Julie Keiko (California)
FH-CA-0006-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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