University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name 2002 DOJ Investigation of Cleveland Division of Police PN-OH-0003
Docket / Court No Court Case ( No Court )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
In 2000, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §14141 of the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) into allegations of a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct. After a two year investigation, which included the review of CDP use of deadly force ... read more >
In 2000, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §14141 of the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) into allegations of a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct. After a two year investigation, which included the review of CDP use of deadly force and use of non-deadly force investigations from 1998-2000, the DOJ issued a formal technical assistance letter dated July 23, 2002. The letter identified recommended reforms in the following areas: the use of force, misconduct complaint investigations, risk management, traffic stop procedures, and training.

The scope of the DOJ investigation was subsequently expanded to include conditions of confinement at the Central Prison Unit and district police station holding facilities. On June 4, 2003, the DOJ issued a technical assistance letter which set forth its recommendations to correct conditions faced by police detainees, including: suicide prevention, medical care, fire safety, security and administration practices, and environmental health and safety.

On February 9, 2004, the DOJ and the CDP reached a formal agreement to conclude the DOJ's investigation of the CDP's use of deadly force. The agreement was set to terminate one year after the effective date provided that compliance was achieved as to all provisions.

On May 12, 2004, the parties entered into a Memorandum of Agreement regarding the CDP holding-cell facilities. The duration of the agreement was three years, during which time the DOJ would oversee and monitor the implementation of the reforms as specified by the agreement.

A spreadsheet describing all of the DOJ 14141 investigations shows this case as closed as of March 15, 2005. When the DOJ opened a new investigation into policing in Cleveland (See U.S. v. Cleveland, PN-OH-0008>/a> in this Clearinghouse), the "background" section of its report doesn't mention this one. We conclude that it closed.

Dan Dalton - 01/17/2007
Jessica Kincaid - 03/29/2015
Saeeda Joseph-Charles - 11/17/2016

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Conditions of confinement
Excessive force
Racial profiling
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Defendant(s) Cleveland Division of Police
Plaintiff Description Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2004 - 2007
Case Closing Year n/a
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 ]

No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Re: Investigation of the Cleveland Division of Police 07/23/2002
PN-OH-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Re: Investigation of Cleveland Division of Police Central Prison Unit and Holding Cell Facilities 06/04/2003
PN-OH-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Agreement to Conclude DOJ’s Investigation of the Cleveland Division of Police’s Use of Deadly Force 02/09/2004
PN-OH-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Memorandum of Agreement Between the United States Department of Justice and the City of Cleveland Regarding Holding Cell Facilities Operated by the Cleveland Division of Police 05/12/2004
PN-OH-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Joint Motion and Memorandum for Entry of Consent Decree 05/26/2015
PN-OH-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia)
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
PN-OH-0003-0002 | PN-OH-0003-0003 | PN-OH-0003-0004
Gunston, Emily A. (District of Columbia)
Henderson, John A. (District of Columbia)
Heyer, Michelle L (Ohio)
Masling, Mark S. (District of Columbia)
Morse, Thomas Jackson (District of Columbia)
Ogletree, Rashida J (District of Columbia)
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
Rendon, Carole S. (Ohio)
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
Schlozman, Bradley (District of Columbia)
Sweeney, Emily M. (Ohio)
Volosin, Heather Tonsing (Ohio)
Weiss, Daniel H. (District of Columbia)
White, Gregory A. (Ohio)
Defendant's Lawyers Chandra, Subodh (Ohio)
PN-OH-0003-0001 | PN-OH-0003-0002 | PN-OH-0003-0003 | PN-OH-0003-0004
Langhenry, Barabara A. (Ohio)
Scott, Joseph F. (Ohio)
Singletary, Gary S. (Ohio)
Other Lawyers None on record

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