University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name DOJ Investigation of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Stations in Antelope Valley PN-CA-0028
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division initiated this civil investigation of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department on August 19, 2011. The investigation focused on allegations of unconstitutional conduct by deputies at two stations located in the Antelope Valley cities of Lancaster ... read more >
The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division initiated this civil investigation of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department on August 19, 2011. The investigation focused on allegations of unconstitutional conduct by deputies at two stations located in the Antelope Valley cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, California. DOJ proceeded under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,42 U.S.C. § 14141 (Section 14141), and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,42 U.S.C. § 2000d (Title VI). These laws authorize the United States to file a legal action when it has reasonable cause to believe that a law enforcement agency engages in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or laws of the United States. In addition, the investigation was also founded on the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3631.

On June 28, 2013, the Civil Rights Division issued a findings letter to the LASD. The letter explained that DOJ had found that LASD's Antelope Valley stations engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory and otherwise unlawful searches and seizures, including the use of unreasonable force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Title VI. DOJ found, as well, that deputies assigned to these stations have engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African Americans in violation of the Fair Housing Act, by targeting certain residents who possessed housing vouchers.

Although the County denied the allegation of unconstitutional conduct, simultaneous to the findings letter being made public, the parties entered a "statement of intent" to reach a comprehensive settlement agreement to be negotiated between the County of Los Angeles, and the U.S. The statement of intent explained that "[t]he Agreement to be negotiated is intended to ensure that: 1) LASD personnel in the Antelope Valley engage in practices that comply with the Constitution and laws of the United States; and 2) the objectives of LASD's Core Values and Trust-Based Policing program are realized in the Antelope Valley community." The "statement of intent" indicated that the parties intended to reach a final settlement agreement by August 30, 2013.

- 03/05/2015
Marcy Blattner - 04/05/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Disparate Impact
Excessive force
Failure to train
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Search policies
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Defendant(s) Los Angeles County
Plaintiff Description N/A
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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
Justice Department Opens Investigation into the Antelope Valley Stations of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department 08/19/2011
PN-CA-0028-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Statement of Intent 06/27/2013
PN-CA-0028-0002.pdf | Detail
Re: Investigation of Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department Stations in Antelope Valley 06/28/2013
PN-CA-0028-0001.pdf | Detail
Justice Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Agree to Policing Reforms and Settlement of Police-Related Fair Housing Claims in the Antelope Valley 04/28/2015
PN-CA-0028-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Settlement Agreement 08/15/2015
PN-CA-0028-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)
PN-CA-0028-0002
Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
PN-CA-0028-0005
Hart, Charles W. Jr. (District of Columbia)
PN-CA-0028-0002
Leung, Michelle (District of Columbia)
PN-CA-0028-0002
Lopez, Christy (District of Columbia)
PN-CA-0028-0002
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
PN-CA-0028-0001
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
PN-CA-0028-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Granbo, Roger H. (California)
PN-CA-0028-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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