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Case Name Allen v. City of Oakland PN-CA-0010
Docket / Court 3:00-cv-04599-TEH ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Court-ordered receiverships
Case Summary
On December 17, 2000, a citizen filed a §1983 class action lawsuit against the City of Oakland and its police department in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging a group of rogue police officers within the OPD known as “the Riders" violated plaintiff's ... read more >
On December 17, 2000, a citizen filed a §1983 class action lawsuit against the City of Oakland and its police department in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging a group of rogue police officers within the OPD known as “the Riders" violated plaintiff's constitutional rights by kidnapping, beating and planting drugs on the plaintiff.

On March 26, 2001 the District Court (Judge Charles A. Legge) ordered that several other civil rights cases pending against the OPD be consolidated with this case under the consolidated case number C00-4599 TEH (JL). These cases were sometimes referred to as the “Riders” cases and involved some 119 plaintiffs. Following consolidation, plaintiffs’ complaint was amended three times.

The case was eventually transferred to District Judge Thelton E. Henderson. The parties engaged in protracted settlement negotiations and participated in numerous court ordered settlement conferences before Magistrate Judge James Larson. A settlement was reached in early 2003, after about eighteen months of negotiations.

On March 14, 2003, the District Court (Judge Thelton E. Henderson) approved the settlement agreement and dismissal of the claims by the plaintiffs/putative class members. The settlement called for payment of $10.9 million to plaintiffs and the implementation of numerous reforms to OPD polices and procedures over a five year monitoring period. Reforms were to be made in the following core areas:

  1. Internal Affairs Investigations
  2. Discipline
  3. Field Supervision
  4. Management Oversight
  5. Use of Force Reporting
  6. Personnel Information Management System (PIMS)
  7. Training
  8. Auditing and Review Systems

On March 24, 2003 the District Court granted a motion for limited intervention by the Oakland Police Officers' Association.

On August 20, 2003 the District Court appointed Rachel Burgess, Kelli Evans, Charles Gruber, and Christy Lopez to serve as the Independent Monitoring Team [IMT] to oversee the reform implementation process.

Meanwhile, in other proceedings, state criminal charges were brought against four OPD officers for alleged crimes stemming from the Riders scandal. After a nine month criminal trial, three OPD officers were acquitted of most charges, with the jury deadlocked on other charges. The alleged ringleader of the Riders fled to escape prosecution.

On June 26, 2008, the parties stipulated that the Court's jurisdiction could be extended until April 21, 2010. The Settlement agreement expired by its own terms on January 22, 2010. On January 27, 2010, the Court issued an order that resulted from a Memorandum of Understanding that incorporated the terms of the 2003 Settlement Agreement between the parties, and allowing monitoring to continue until January 2012. An additional independent monitoring team was also appointed to issue quarterly reports regarding OPD's compliance.

On June 23, 2011, the parties entered into an Amended Memorandum of Understanding (AMOU), extending the terms of the agreement until January 22, 2014, with a proviso requiring narrowing and continuation of the AMOU if compliance had not been achieved by January 2014.

On September 15, 2011, in a Joint Status Conference, the parties acknowledged that progress toward achieving the 'Tasks' for compliance had ground to a halt. The Independent Monitor attributed the lack of progress to a failure of the City of Oakland to take the litigation seriously. Similarly, on January 19, 2012, in a Joint Status Conference, compliance was 'not in sight' and had 'stagnated.' The Independent Monitor's Eighth Quarterly Report (under the 2011 AMOU) reported that little progress had been made in the two years since his appointment. The plaintiffs requested a briefing schedule for a motion to put the Oakland Police Department into receivership.

On January 24, 2012, as an alternative to considering receivership, the Court conferred additional authority on the Monitor, requiring the chief of police to consult with the Monitor on all major decisions that would impact the Settlement Agreement. The Monitor was instructed to report to the Mayor and City Administrators any time the Chief took actions against his advice. If the City did not reverse the Chief of Police's decision, then the Court would hold a hearing to determine if the Monitor's recommendation should be implemented.

On February 22, 2012, the Court formally announced its consideration of the possibility of Receivership, and scheduled briefing. A hearing on the matter was scheduled for December 13, 2012.

In the meantime, the Independent Monitor filed his Ninth Quarterly Report on April 30, 2012, noting several particular problems with the conduct of OPD police officers during the Occupy Oakland protests. The Monitoring team was concerned about outsourcing police misconduct investigations, because it indicated that the breadth of complaints was beyond internal affairs' capacity, demonstrated a lack of confidence in unbiased investigation by internal affairs, and jeopardized compliance under sections of the original Negotiated Settlement Agreement.

The parties finished briefing the receivership issue. As described by Judge Henderson in an order on the matter, "Nearly ten years after the parties agreed to a consent decree that was to have been completed in five years but that remains incomplete, the Court was scheduled to hear Plaintiffs’ motion to appoint a receiver. After reviewing Defendants’ opposition to Plaintiffs’ motion, it became clear that Defendants did not dispute many of the issues raised by Plaintiffs, including Plaintiffs’ conclusion that Defendants would be unable to achieve compliance without further intervention by this Court. The Court ordered the parties to meet and confer to attempt to reach agreement on how this case should proceed and, following the parties’ request, referred this case to a magistrate judge for settlement." The settlement discussions concluded December 5, 2012, with an agreement for additional oversight by a Compliance Director, appointed by and answerable to the Court, who would have "directive authority" over Oakland PD, relevant to the existing consent decrees. The monitor was to stay in place, as well. While not quite a receivership, the Compliance Director was assigned very extensive authority, including to direct individual expenditures of up to $250,000, and to discipline, demote, or remove the Chief of Police, Assistant Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs (subject to appeal to the Court).

The Court approved this settlement on December 12, 2012.

In March 2013—pursuant to its order of December 12, 2012—the Court appointed Thomas C. Frazier as Compliance Director. Mr. Frazier first issued a Remedial Action Plan that May, addressing in particular (1) supervisors' failure to intervene in or report unacceptable behavior, (2) the lack of impartiality in investigations of officer misconduct, (3) executive leadership's inaction repudiating the previous two deficiencies, as well as (4) its neglect in proactively addressing them. Mr. Frazier, at May's end, next issued a Benchmark Plan, thoroughly detailing the priorities, goals, and timeframe for compliance. Finally, Mr. Frazier issued sixth monthly progress reports—July-December 2013—in the last of which he identified “[n]otable progress across a broad range of complex issues and projects continues at an acceptable pace.”

- 12/14/2012
David Postel - 02/10/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Receivership
Recordkeeping
Reporting
General
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
False arrest
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Pattern or Practice
Racial profiling
Record-keeping
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Oakland Police Department
Plaintiff Description All individuals who suffered deprivation of their constitutional rights by members of the OPD.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
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 2003 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PN-CA-0018 : Local 10 ILWU v. City of Oakland (N.D. Cal.)
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 ]

Docket(s)
3:00-cv-04599-TEH (N.D. Cal.) 12/20/2012
PN-CA-0010-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Riders’ Pattern and Practice Settlement Agreement - Summary Sheet
PN-CA-0010-0002 PDF | Detail
A Message from Chief Richard L. Word 06/03/2003
PN-CA-0010-0003 PDF | Detail
Settlement Agreement Re: Pattern And Practice Claims 02/04/2004
PN-CA-0010-0001 PDF | Detail
Amended Memorandum of Understanding RE: Post NSA Terms and Conditions . . . 06/23/2011
PN-CA-0010-0011 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Conference RE: Non-Monetary Settlement Issues. 09/15/2011
PN-CA-0010-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
JOINT CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE STATEMENT 01/19/2012 (N.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0010-0013 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Vacating January 26, 2012 Status Conference and Conferring Additional Authority On the Monitor 01/24/2012 (N.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0010-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Conference RE: Non-Monetary Settlement Issues 01/26/2012
PN-CA-0010-0012 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re: Plaintiffs' Motion for Sanctions Against Officer Hargraves and Lieutenant Wong 01/27/2012 (N.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0010-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Proposed Order in RE: Briefing and Hearing Dates for Receivership Proceedings 02/22/2012
PN-CA-0010-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
City of Oakland's March 2012 Quarterly Report . . . in RE: Investigation of Retaliation Claims 03/30/2012
PN-CA-0010-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Ninth Quarterly Report of the Independent Monitor for the Oakland Police Department 04/30/2012
PN-CA-0010-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Parties' Joint Submission of Proposed Order Regarding Plaintiffs' Receivership Motion, Defendants' Opposition to Receivership Motion and the Papers Filed by Plaintiffs in Intervention Regarding Receivership Motion Scheduled for December 13, 2012 12/05/2012
PN-CA-0010-0014 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER RE: COMPLIANCE DIRECTOR 12/12/2012 (N.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0010-0015 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Appointing Compliance Director 03/04/2013 (N.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0010-0016 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Oakland Police Department Remedial Action Plan First Report 05/01/2013
PN-CA-0010-0017 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Oakland Police Department Benchmarks Plan First Report 05/31/2013
PN-CA-0010-0018 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Oakland Police Department Monthly Progress Report December 1, 2013 12/01/2013
PN-CA-0010-0019 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Henderson, Thelton Eugene (N.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0010-0004 | PN-CA-0010-0005 | PN-CA-0010-0013 | PN-CA-0010-0015 | PN-CA-0010-0016 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Monitors/Masters Evans, Kelli M. (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Frazier, Thomas C. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0017 | PN-CA-0010-0018 | PN-CA-0010-0019
Lopez, Christy (District of Columbia)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Warshaw, Robert S. (New Hampshire)
PN-CA-0010-0006 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burris, John L. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0001 | PN-CA-0010-0008 | PN-CA-0010-0010 | PN-CA-0010-0011 | PN-CA-0010-0012 | PN-CA-0010-0013 | PN-CA-0010-0014 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Chanin, James B. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0001 | PN-CA-0010-0008 | PN-CA-0010-0010 | PN-CA-0010-0011 | PN-CA-0010-0012 | PN-CA-0010-0013 | PN-CA-0010-0014 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Hamoy-Perera, Aimee G. (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Houk, Julie (California)
PN-CA-0010-0013 | PN-CA-0010-0014 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Kumin, Matthew W. (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Scott, John Houston (California)
PN-CA-0010-0001 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cassidy, Terence J (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Colwell, Kimberly E. (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Fierro, Rocio V. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0008 | PN-CA-0010-0010 | PN-CA-0010-0011 | PN-CA-0010-0012 | PN-CA-0010-0013 | PN-CA-0010-0014 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Fishman, Edward Marc (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Fox, Gregory Mellon (California)
PN-CA-0010-0001 | PN-CA-0010-0007 | PN-CA-0010-0008 | PN-CA-0010-0010 | PN-CA-0010-0011 | PN-CA-0010-0012 | PN-CA-0010-0013 | PN-CA-0010-0014 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Gruwell, Paul B. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0014
Hall, Randolph (California)
PN-CA-0010-0001 | PN-CA-0010-0013 | PN-CA-0010-0014 | PN-CA-0010-9000 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Hoffman, Peter A. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0014
Huneke, Nancy A. (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Jefferson, Jamilah A. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0014
Johnson, Kerri A. (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Kee, Christopher (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Leed, Claudia (California)
PN-CA-0010-0001
Lucia, Rockne (California)
PN-CA-0010-0008 | PN-CA-0010-0010 | PN-CA-0010-0011 | PN-CA-0010-0012 | PN-CA-0010-0013 | PN-CA-0010-0014 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Mello, Paul Brian (California)
PN-CA-0010-0014
Parker, Barbara J (California)
PN-CA-0010-0013 | PN-CA-0010-0014
Rains, Michael Logan (California)
PN-CA-0010-0014 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Rapoport, William R. (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Rowell, Stephen Q. (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Russo, John A. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0001
Schneider, Walter R. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0014
Simoncini, Kenneth D. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0001 | PN-CA-0010-9000
Verber, John Jeffrey (California)
PN-CA-0010-9000
Wolff, Samantha D. (California)
PN-CA-0010-0014
Other Lawyers None on record

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