University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Oliver v. City of Oakland PN-CA-0030
Docket / Court 3:08-cv-04914 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
On October 28, 2008, an African-American man filed this class-action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Oakland, California Police Department and one of its officers. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff, represented by private ... read more >
On October 28, 2008, an African-American man filed this class-action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Oakland, California Police Department and one of its officers. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, requested injunctive relief and monetary damages, alleging that the City unlawfully targeted citizens on the basis of race, violating the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that officers of the police department had issued warrants based on intentionally false or misleading information, subjecting him to unreasonable search and seizure, arresting him without probable cause, and maliciously prosecuting him. On October 6, 2008, the charges against the plaintiff were dismissed when the Alameda County District Attorney's Office discovered that the warrant had been illegally obtained. Although the charges were dismissed, the plaintiff alleged that as a result of the unreasonable search and seizure, he was unable to work causing a loss of income and suffered damages for pain and emotional distress.

On February 9, 2009, a second amended complaint was filed. This complaint added plaintiffs, including African American and Hispanic men and women, who were allegedly subjected to unreasonable search and seizure stemming from illegally obtained warrants and many of whom had been subsequently arrested.

On August 5, 2010, the plaintiffs submitted a stipulated motion for approval of settlement. The United States District Court Northern District of California (Judge Thelton E. Henderson) granted the motion where the City offered to settle the monetary relief claims of the 104 individual plaintiffs and putative class members for total gross settlement sum of $6,500.00 inclusive of all attorney fees and costs. After reaching this agreement, the parties continued with settlement discussions on non-monetary relief claims. Their discussions focused on specific reforms intended to remedy the kind of police misconduct that occurred in this case that would be of substantial benefit to the putative class.

On February 14, 2011, the parties reached a non-monetary settlement agreement. The settlement set out specific procedures for the Oakland Police Department to obtain affidavits and warrants. The parties also agreed to set of protocols for drug evidence testing. The Court retained jurisdiction for two years from the settlement date so that the parties could petition for redress pertaining to compliance with their agreement.

There is nothing substantive in the docket sheet following settlement. Presumably the matter is closed.

Katherine Reineck - 03/10/2015
Beth Richardson - 07/23/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Monitoring
Reporting
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Aggressive behavior
Disparate Treatment
Excessive force
Failure to supervise
False arrest
Racial profiling
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of Oakland Police Department
Plaintiff Description A group of seventeen African-American and Hispanic men and women who were subject to unwarranted police aggression.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
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 2011 - 2013
Case Closing Year 2013
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)
3:08-cv-4914 (N.D. Cal.) 03/14/2011
PN-CA-0030-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Damages, Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 10/28/2008
PN-CA-0030-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint 02/06/2009
PN-CA-0030-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Motion for Approval of Settlement 08/05/2010
PN-CA-0030-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Stipulated Motion for Approval of Settlement 08/05/2010 (N.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0030-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation for Approval of Motion to Settle Non-Monetary Relief Claims 02/14/2011 (N.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0030-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Henderson, Thelton Eugene (N.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0030-0004 | PN-CA-0030-0005 | PN-CA-0030-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burris, John L. (California)
PN-CA-0030-0001 | PN-CA-0030-0002 | PN-CA-0030-0003 | PN-CA-0030-0005 | PN-CA-0030-9000
Chanin, James B. (California)
PN-CA-0030-0001 | PN-CA-0030-0002 | PN-CA-0030-0003 | PN-CA-0030-0005 | PN-CA-0030-9000
Houk, Julie (California)
PN-CA-0030-0001 | PN-CA-0030-0003 | PN-CA-0030-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cassidy, Terence J (California)
PN-CA-0030-9000
Hall, Randolph (California)
PN-CA-0030-0005 | PN-CA-0030-9000
Rowell, Stephen Q. (California)
PN-CA-0030-9000
Whitefleet, John Robert (California)
PN-CA-0030-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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