On May 2, 2008, five African-American residents of Antioch, California filed this class-action lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the City of Antioch and its police department for allegedly engaging in a discriminatory campaign that ...
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On May 2, 2008, five African-American residents of Antioch, California filed this class-action lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the City of Antioch and its police department for allegedly engaging in a discriminatory campaign that targeted African-American households whom the city believed to be receiving Section 8 housing rent assistance. The plaintiffs claimed that the alleged campaign violated the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq.), 42 U.S.C. 1983, and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, as well as a number of California statutes. Representing the plaintiffs were the Impact Fund, Public Advocates Inc., Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.
Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the police department (1) unlawfully searched the homes of African-American Section 8 families without their consent or a warrant; (2) threatened the families' landlords by suggesting they would be liable for the activities of their Section 8 tenants; (3) encouraged neighbors of the African-American Section 8 families to file nuisance reports against them; and (4) put pressure on the local Housing Authority in charge of the Section 8 program in order to try and terminate the voucher benefits of the tenants being targeted, seventy percent of whom were African-American.
On September 2, 2010, the Court granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification, defining the class as "all African-Americans who have held, currently hold, or may hold Section 8 housing vouchers, and all members of their households, who reside, have resided or will reside, in the City of Antioch." 2010 WL 3632197 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 2, 2010). Also on September 2, the Court granted the defendant's motion for judgment on the pleading seeking to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims for statutory damages under California law on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to comply with the Government Tort Claims Act. 2010 WL 3632199 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 2, 2010).
On December 20, 2010, both parties filed a joint motion for approval of class action settlement. Among various other provisions, the settlement provided that (1) the City of Antioch will not publicly identify Africa-American Section 8 recipients; (2) the City will not focus on African-American Section 8 recipients on the basis of their race or Section 8 status in its policing efforts, except when using race to identify a suspect; (3) the City will pay $180,000 to be divided equally among the five named plaintiffs; (4) the City will pay $180,000 in attorney's fees and costs; and (5) class members who are not named plaintiffs release their injunctive and declaratory relief claims, but do not release any individual claims for monetary relief. The plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the suit with prejudice.
On April 6, 2012, the court (Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong) dismissed the case with prejudice. The court retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement for three years.Jordan Rossen - 06/07/2010
Asma Husain - 11/19/2015