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Case Name Rodriguez v. California Highway Patrol PN-CA-0012
Docket / Court C-99-20895-JF/EAI ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization ACLU of Northern California
Case Summary
On June 3, 1999, Plaintiffs, represented by ACLU, filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California against the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement ("BNE"), alleging a policy, pattern and practice of targeting ... read more >
On June 3, 1999, Plaintiffs, represented by ACLU, filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California against the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement ("BNE"), alleging a policy, pattern and practice of targeting African-Americans and Latinos in conducting stops, detentions, interrogations and searches of motorists as part of a federally financed drug interdiction program know as ``Operation Pipeline.'' The complaint was amended to include the California Branches of the NAACP, the California League of United Latin American Citizens as plaintiffs and to seek class action status.

Defendants moved to dismiss on the basis that plaintiffs lacked standing and that the amended complaint failed to state a claim. Defendants also moved motion to sever plaintiffs from the case and/or strike the class action allegations.

On March 13, 2000, The District Court (Judge Jeremy Fogel) denied defendants' motion to dismiss in part and granted it in part, holding that plaintiffs adequately pled violations of Title VI, the Fourth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. Plaintiffs' state law claims were, however, dismissed on sovereign immunity grounds. Judge Fogel denied defendants' motion to sever plaintiffs and/or strike the class action allegations. Rodriguez v. California Highway Patrol, 89 F.Supp.2d 1131 (N.D.Cal. 2000).

Thereafter the parties engaged in discovery. The docket notes that numerous discovery and procedural motions were filed and plaintiffs' complaint was amended a total of five times. Motions and briefs relative to class certification were filed under seal.

On September 9, 2002, the District Court ordered the action stayed pending continued mediation by the parties. A settlement was reached in February, 2003 and its terms and conditions were approved by the court, along with the accompanying class notification requirements. The District Court dismissed the case with prejudice on June 3, 2003.

The terms of the settlement included:

• A prohibition of racial profiling and racial discrimination of any kind by CHP officers;

• A ban on consent searches of vehicles through 2006;

• Comprehensive data collection for each traffic stop including race, the reason for the stop, whether a search was conducted and the legal basis for the search, and the result of the stop and search;

• Creation of an Auditor to assist in the implementation of changes addressed by the settlement agreement. The Auditor reviewed and analyzed data collected by CHP, and provided input on training, data collection and policy implementation. The Auditor's findings were reported directly to the CHP Commissioner.

• Creation of a "racial profiling" category of citizens' complaints.

Dan Dalton - 01/08/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Race discrimination
Racial profiling
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) California Highway Patrol
Plaintiff Description All Latinos and African Americans who are presently and in the future will be stopped while driving by the CHP and then detained, interrogated, or subjected to a search (either of person or vehicle) on any public thoroughfare.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU of Northern California
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2003 - 2006
Filed 06/03/1999
Case Closing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Rodriguez v. CHP
ACLU Northern California
Date: Feb. 27, 2003
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
N.D. Cal.
PN-CA-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
not recorded
ACLU and Coalition Groups File Suit Against CA Law Enforcement Agencies for Racial Profiling
PN-CA-0012-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
N.D. Cal.
First Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory Relief, Injunctive Relief and Damages; Demand for Jury [ECF# 27]
PN-CA-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
N.D. Cal.
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss, Denying Motion to Sever Plaintiffs and/or Strike Class Action Allegations and Denying Motion to Strike Portions of Pleading [ECF# 48] (89 F.Supp.2d 1131)
PN-CA-0012-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Google Scholar
not recorded
Notice of Class Action Settlement
PN-CA-0012-0003.pdf | Detail
not recorded
CHP & ACLU Settle Three-Year Racial Profiling Dispute (Press Release)
PN-CA-0012-0004.pdf | Detail
not recorded
In Landmark Racial Profiling Settlement, California Highway Patrol Agrees To Major Reforms (Press Release)
PN-CA-0012-0005.pdf | Detail
show all people docs
Judges Fogel, Jeremy D. (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0012-0006 | PN-CA-0012-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alexander, Michelle (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0012-0001 | PN-CA-0012-0002 | PN-CA-0012-0006 | PN-CA-0012-9000
Fox, Michael J. (Washington) show/hide docs
Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0012-0001 | PN-CA-0012-0003 | PN-CA-0012-0006 | PN-CA-0012-9000
Streeter, Jon B. (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0012-0001 | PN-CA-0012-0006 | PN-CA-0012-9000
Sullivan, Rebecca K. (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0012-0001 | PN-CA-0012-9000
Tigar, Jon Steven (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0012-0001 | PN-CA-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Burton, Jocelyn (California) show/hide docs
Inan, Michelle (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0012-0006 | PN-CA-0012-9000
Lockyer, Bill (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0012-0006 | PN-CA-0012-9000
Modlin, Craig (California) show/hide docs
Pon, Tyler B. (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0012-0001 | PN-CA-0012-0006 | PN-CA-0012-9000
Shapiro, David W. (California) show/hide docs

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