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Case Name Baker v. Katehi PN-CA-0019
Docket / Court 2:12-cv-00450 ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Policing
Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Occupy
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Northern California
Case Summary
On February 22, 2012, twenty-one university students and recent graduates filed a putative class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the Regents of the University of California (the Chancellor was Katehi, hence the case caption) and against ... read more >
On February 22, 2012, twenty-one university students and recent graduates filed a putative class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the Regents of the University of California (the Chancellor was Katehi, hence the case caption) and against members of the campus police. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and private counsel, asked the court for injunctive relief; declaratory relief; compensatory, punitive, exemplary, and statutory damages; and attorney's fees. They alleged a violation of the First Amendment (freedom of speech and assembly), the Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure), and the Fourteenth Amendment (taking property without due process of law). Plaintiffs also alleged violations of corresponding provisions of the California Constitution, and also of § 836(a) of the California Penal Code (false arrest/imprisonment); § 52.1 of the California Civil Code; and § 845.6 of the California Government Code (failure to provide medical care to the protesters).

The events giving rise to the lawsuit occurred on November 18, 2011. University of California at Davis students in the campus quad engaged in a nonviolent protest against university privatization, distribution of resources, tuition hikes, police brutality, and other policies adopted by the University administration and the Board of Regents. The students set up tents and met to "occupy the quad" (modeled after the "Occupy Wallstreet" movement). On the afternoon of November 18, the police chief delivered a letter from the Chancellor directing students to remove the tents, but they decided to continue their protest. Campus police then allegedly arrested students without probable cause and shot high-concentration pepper spray directly into their faces. These actions were recorded on video and circulated nationally. Nineteen of the plaintiffs were university students at the time of the incident and two were recent graduates.

On March 14, 2012, the Court approved an extension of time so that the parties could explore settlement. On August 15 and 16, 2012, the parties engaged in mediation (before the Ret. Hon. Raul Ramirez) and reached an agreement. They filed this settlement with the Court on September 26, 2012. The defendants agreed to pay $630,000 to the plaintiffs ($30,000 per named plaintiff). Defendants also agreed to pay $20,000 to each additional class member whose claim was approved, with the total damages for the class members capped at $100,000. Defendants also agreed that for two years they would provide the ACLU attorneys with an opportunity to review, comment, and provide input on the Davis campus' written policies about the use of force by police, the handling of student demonstrations, and crowd control (and would pay attorneys' fees for their time). The Chancellor also agreed to give a personal, written apology to each of the plaintiffs and to any class members who submit an approved claim form. Further, the settlement stated that a student affairs representative would provide academic assistance and counseling to any plaintiffs and class members who need such assistance as a result of the incident. The settlement also included $250,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.

The proposed settlement defined the class as: "All persons who were arrested or directly sprayed with pepper spray by police officers working for or on the behalf of the University of California, Davis Police Department on November 18,2011, on the area known as "the Quad," on the University of California, Davis campus."

On September 27, 2012, the Court (Judge John A. Mendez) granted preliminary approval of the parties' proposed settlement, certified the settlement class, approved class notice, and scheduled the final approval hearing.

On January 9, 2013, the Court (Judge Mendez) approved the settlement.

There has been no further litigation and the case is now closed.

Emily Goldman - 03/02/2012
Averyn Lee - 03/10/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Apology
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
College/University
General
Excessive force
False arrest
Loss or damage to property
Over/Unlawful Detention
Pepper/OC spray
School/University policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) U.S. Davis Police Department
University of California
Plaintiff Description All persons who were arrested or directly sprayed with pepper spray by police officers working for or on the behalf of the University of California, Davis Police Department on November 18, 2011, on the area known as "the Quad," on the University of California, Davis campus
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Northern California
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2013 - 2015
Filing Year 2012
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Baker v. Katehi (UC Davis Pepper Spray Cop)
https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/legal-docket/baker-v-katehi-uc-davis-pepper-spray-cop
Date: Jan. 10, 2013
By: ACLU Northern California
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2:12−cv−00450 (E.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0019-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/08/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Damages for Violation of CIvil Rights with Supplemental Claims for Violation of the California State Constitution and Statutes Jury Trial Demanded [ECF# 1]
PN-CA-0019-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/22/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation for Settlement [ECF# 40-1]
PN-CA-0019-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/26/2012
Source: ACLU
Second Amended Class Action Complaint for Damages for Violation of Civil Rights with Supplemental Claims for Violation of the California State Constitution and Statutes [ECF# 44]
PN-CA-0019-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/26/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Preliminary Approval of the Proposed Settlement, Certifying the Settlement Class, Approving Class Notice, and Scheduling Final Approval Hearing [ECF# 45] (E.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0019-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/27/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Proposed Settlement, Certifying the Settlement Class, Approving Class Notice and Scheduling Final Approval Hearing [ECF# 48] (E.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0019-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Order and Judgment [ECF# 54] (E.D. Cal.)
PN-CA-0019-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/09/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Brennan, Edmund F. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-9000
Mendez, John A. (E.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0001 | PN-CA-0019-0005 | PN-CA-0019-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Coleman, Novella (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0002 | PN-CA-0019-0003 | PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005 | PN-CA-0019-0006
DeMartini, Lauren B (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-9000
Lye, Linda (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0002 | PN-CA-0019-0003 | PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005 | PN-CA-0019-0006 | PN-CA-0019-9000
Merin, Mark E. (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0001 | PN-CA-0019-0002 | PN-CA-0019-0003 | PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005 | PN-CA-0019-0006 | PN-CA-0019-9000
Risher , Michael Temple (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0002 | PN-CA-0019-0003 | PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005 | PN-CA-0019-0006 | PN-CA-0019-9000
Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0001 | PN-CA-0019-0002 | PN-CA-0019-0003 | PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005 | PN-CA-0019-0006
Wallis, Meredith (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0001 | PN-CA-0019-0002 | PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005 | PN-CA-0019-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Bakhit, John H. (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-9000
Cassidy, Terence J (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005 | PN-CA-0019-9000
Cockrell, Lina Balciunas (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-9000
Gaspard, Christopher Lee (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-9000
Jasmine, Jason H. (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-9000
McGill, Michael A (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-9000
Mola, Katherine L.M. (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-9000
O'Brien, Kevin P. (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005
Perry, Russel Marc (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-9000
Rode, Suzanne E. (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005
Sharp, Daniel Joseph (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0001 | PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005 | PN-CA-0019-9000
Sheehan, Nancy Joan (California) show/hide docs
PN-CA-0019-0001 | PN-CA-0019-0004 | PN-CA-0019-0005 | PN-CA-0019-9000

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