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Case Name Roy v. Los Angeles County IM-CA-0064
Docket / Court 2:12-cv-09012 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Policing
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Southern California
Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
Case Summary
On Oct. 19, 2012, five named plaintiffs filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, challenging the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s (LASD) practice of holding individuals subject to immigration detainer beyond their release date ... read more >
On Oct. 19, 2012, five named plaintiffs filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, challenging the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s (LASD) practice of holding individuals subject to immigration detainer beyond their release date solely on the basis of the detainer. The plaintiffs alleged that these practices violated state law, the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and the California Constitution (Cal. Constitution, Art. 1, §§7, 13). The complaint, filed by the ACLU and other public interest organizations, sought an injunction enjoining the defendant from continuing its immigration detainer hold practice, a declaration that these practices were a violation of state and federal law, and monetary damages to members of the plaintiff class.

Specifically, the complaint challenged the legality of two alleged practices in the LASD: (1) denying bail to people who wanted to post bail and had already obtained a court order setting bail on the ground that the federal government had filed an "immigration detainer" asking the LASD to hold them; and (2) denying such persons release from the Los Angeles County jail for 48 hours or more on the basis of the immigration detainer, even though all charges against them had been dismissed, they had been acquitted of the charge for which they were being held, they were ordered released, or they had served their sentence. The plaintiffs argued that although immigration detainers were voluntary requests, as a matter of practice and policy, LASD held every person who was the subject of an immigration detainer beyond their release dates solely on the basis of the detainer.

The complaint defined the putative class as all persons who would or would be (1) detained in the custody of the LASD, (2) had an immigration hold placed on them by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while in LASD custody that was not supported by a lawful probable cause determination, (3) were entitled to release from LASD custody under applicable federal or state law (which created a liberty interest in such release), (4) due to LASD policy and practice were not released (to the extent that they were otherwise entitled to release) but held in LASD custody on the authority of the ICE hold after they were eligible for release from LASD custody.

The case was soon transferred to Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell. After failed attempts at mediation, the parties moved into discovery. In the meantime, one of the plaintiffs who had already been released from LASD custody had gone missing and apparently had been deported. On April 27, 2015, Judge O’Connell granted defendants’ motion to dismiss this plaintiff without prejudice. In the same order, Judge O’Connell dismissed as moot this plaintiff’s attorneys’ motion to withdraw as his counsel. 2015 WL 12752555 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 27, 2015).

On July 9, 2015, Judge O’Connell granted in part and denied in part LASD’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Judge O’Connell dismissed plaintiffs’ claims for money damages under provisions of the California state constitution (Art. I, §§ 7, 13), finding that these provisions did not confer private rights of action for damages. Further, Judge O’Connell dismissed plaintiffs’ claim under California’s Tom Bane Civil Rights Act for damages for threats, intimidation, or coercion interfering with U.S. or state constitutional rights, finding that the plaintiffs had not shown that LASD engaged in such wrongful conduct independent of the detentions. However, Judge O’Connell also denied LASD’s challenge to plaintiffs’ other state law claims. She found that the plaintiffs had sufficiently complied with the requirements of the California Tort Claims Act for suing a public entity, and were not barred by public entity immunity because they alleged they were unlawfully confined. She also let stand plaintiffs’ claims against the Sheriff in his official capacity as not duplicative of claims against the County. 114 F.Supp.3d 1030 (C.D. Cal. 2015).

On July 28, 2015, Judge O'Connell granted LASD's motion to consolidate this case with a related case, Gonzalez v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Both the plaintiffs and ICE had opposed LASD’s motion, arguing that the cases involved different defendants and substantially different legal issues and factual questions about defendants’ liability. Nevertheless, Judge O’Connell ordered the consolidation for pretrial purposes, finding the two cases to both concern the legality of ICE detainers, specifically whether they must be supported by individualized probable cause determinations. 2015 WL 12743601 (C.D. Cal. July 28, 2015).

On Sept. 17, 2015, Judge O’Connell granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs’ motion for leave to amend the scheduling order and the pleadings. She allowed the plaintiffs to amend their California statutory claims for violations of their right to timely release and release on bail. However, she denied the plaintiffs leave to add equal protection claims under California statutes and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, finding that the plaintiffs had not shown diligence in requesting an amendment for these claims. 2015 WL 12752441 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 17, 2015). The plaintiffs then filed a First Amended Complaint on Oct. 2, 2015.

On November 20, 2015, Judge O’Connell granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint, and granted the defendants’ motion to strike several paragraphs of the complaint pleading equal protection claims. For the latter, Judge O’Connell found that these pleadings were barred by her Sept. 17, 2015 order. However, Judge O’Connell also ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on several points. First, she found that the defendants’ state statutory discretionary immunity did not bar the plaintiffs’ claims, as the plaintiffs did not allege that a public employee engaged in a discretionary act or omission causing injury. She also found that the plaintiffs stated a valid negligence per se claim under state law (though she also dismissed another negligence per se claim as duplicative). Finally, she found that the plaintiffs adequately pleaded an actionable coercive act independently of the detentions themselves, by alleging that LASD falsely recorded and treated ICE detainers as mandatory detentions. 2015 WL 12582637 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 17, 2015).

On Dec. 7, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint, slightly modifying the claims in the initial complaint. They alleged violations of Fourth Amendment due process and unlawful seizure; and state law on false imprisonment, negligence per se, release on bail, and timely release.

On Sept. 9, 2016, Judge O’Connell granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs’ motions for class certification. She certified most of the plaintiffs’ proposed classes and subclasses. For the Roy plaintiffs, the classes and subclasses certified included all LASD inmates held on the basis of ICE detainers beyond their scheduled time of release from custody, so long as they did not have final orders of removal. Some of these would have otherwise been eligible to post bail. For the Gonzalez plaintiffs, the classes certified included all persons in the Central District of California subject to an ICE detainer and held for at least 48 hours, but who were not in removal proceedings and had not been issued final orders of removal or ICE administrative warrants. 2016 WL 5219468 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 9, 2016).

On June 12, 2017, Judge O'Connell denied the plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment, filed by two of the Gonzalez plaintiffs. They had asked the court to end ICE’s use of detainers for over 48 hours with no judicial determination of probable cause for this detention, which the plaintiffs alleged violated the Fourth Amendment. Judge O'Connell disagreed, holding that the Fourth Amendment did not require a judge to review ICE officers' probable-cause determinations, because these were civil and not criminal proceedings. Judge O'Connell thus granted summary judgment to the defendants on this issue. 2017 WL 2559616 (C.D. Cal. June 12, 2017).

As of Nov. 2017, the parties were engaging in discovery, and a jury trial was set for May 22, 2018. The court scheduled several motion hearings: one on Sept. 12, 2017 to address a large group of motions (Judge O'Connell held this hearing but did not issue an order before the case was transferred), and one on Sept. 25, 2017 to consider law professors' request to file an amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs. After the Sept. 12 hearing, the defendants filed several notices of supplemental authority; one referred to El Cenizo v. Texas, in which the Fifth Circuit let stand a detainer provision of
a Texas state statute requiring law enforcement agencies to “comply with, honor, and fulfill” any ICE detainer request.

This case was transferred to Judge Percy Anderson on Oct. 18, 2017, and then transferred again on Nov. 1 to Judge Andre Birotte, Jr.

On Feb. 7, 2018, Judge Birotte issued an order. First, as to Gonzalez, he denied the Gonzalez defendants' motion to dismiss and for summary judgment, while granting in part and denying in part the Gonzalez plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. He held that the Court had subject-matter jurisdiction because the Gonzalez plaintiffs' claim did not arise from removal proceedings (under the jurisdiction of the Immigration Court). Rather, ICE issued the detainers to the plaintiffs independently of removal proceedings. Judge Birotte also denied summary judgment as to the Gonzalez probable-cause subclass, because a factual dispute existed as to whether the ICE databases were complete and reliable enough to be a sufficient source for the probable-cause determination. Additionally, Judge Birotte held that several Gonzalez subclasses, based on policies that ICE claimed to have ended, were not mooted, because ICE had not met its heavy burden of establishing it would not resume its practice of issuing warrantless detentions to these groups.

Next, as to Roy, Judge Birotte granted in part and denied in part the Roy defendants' and plaintiffs' motions for summary judgment.
He denied summary judgment as to several Roy subclasses, because a factual dispute existed as to whether investigative detainers were based on probable cause; and as to how LASD classified "no bail" holds. Next, Judge Birotte granted the Roy plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment as to the post-48-hour subclass -- individuals whom the LASD held in detention beyond their scheduled release date, solely for civil immigration violations, thus violating the Fourth Amendment. Judge Birotte also held that LASD's policy of booking individuals subject to immigration detainers, when those individuals would otherwise be subject to LASD's policy of not booking arrestees with a bail amount lower than $25,000, violated equal protection. As to the Roy plaintiffs' state law claims, Judge Birotte found that they were barred by state sovereign immunity.

Finally, Judge Birotte noted that newly-enacted California statutes prohibited the Roy defendants from engaging in the challenged conduct of detaining an individual on the basis of an immigration hold, and thus, the Roy plaintiffs' injunctive and declaratory relief claims were moot.

On Mar. 2, both the Roy and Gonzalez plaintiffs moved to modify the class definition. On Mar. 30, defendant opposed this motion and also moved for class decertification; plaintiff replied on Apr. 9. Defendant also, on Mar. 13, moved for reconsideration of the court's order, but Judge Birotte denied this motion on Apr. 18.

This case is ongoing, with a jury trial scheduled for May 2018.

Dan Osher - 05/27/2013
Tania Morris Diaz - 12/05/2014
Ava Morgenstern - 04/24/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Corrections
Law-enforcement
General
Bail/Bond
Over/Unlawful Detention
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Criminal prosecution
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
State law
Defendant(s) Los Angeles Sheriffs Department
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description All persons who are or will be (1) detained in LASD custody, (2) have an immigration hold placed on them by ICE not supported by a lawful probable cause determination, (3) are entitled to be released from LASD custody under applicable federal or state law, (4) due to LASD policy and practice are not released (to the extent they were otherwise entitled to release) but held in LASD custody on the authority of the ICE hold after they were eligible for for release from LASD custody.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Southern California
Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2012
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-CA-0082 : Gonzalez v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (C.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
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  Roy v Los Angeles County
Date: Oct. 19, 2012
By: National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Roy v. County of Los Angeles
www.aclusocal.org
Date: Oct. 18, 2012
By: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:12-cv-09012-RGK-FFM (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/07/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief and Damages
IM-CA-0064-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/19/2012
Source: ACLU
Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Vacating Plaintiffs' Motion to Withdraw as Counsel as Moot [ECF# 69] (2015 WL 12752555) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/27/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [ECF# 88] (114 F.Supp.3d 1030) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/09/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motions to Consolidate [ECF# 91] (2015 WL 12743601) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re: Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to Amend the Scheduling Order and to Amend the Pleadings [ECF# 107] (2015 WL 12752441) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/17/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint and Granting Defendants' Motion to Strike Paragraphs 60 and 61 of the First Amended Complaint [ECF# 124] (2015 WL 12582637) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/20/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief and Damages [ECF# 125]
IM-CA-0064-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/07/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re: Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 184] (2016 WL 5219468) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/09/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re: Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 264] (2017 WL 2559616) (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re: Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [ECF# 346] (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/07/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendants' Motion Under LR 7-18 to Reconsider the Court's February 7, 2018 Order [ECF# 378] (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/18/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Birotte, Andre Jr. (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0011 | IM-CA-0064-0012 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Mumm, Frederick F. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0064-9000
O'Connell, Beverly Reid (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0064-0002 | IM-CA-0064-0003 | IM-CA-0064-0004 | IM-CA-0064-0005 | IM-CA-0064-0006 | IM-CA-0064-0008 | IM-CA-0064-0010
Plaintiff's Lawyers Amdur, Spencer (New York)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Arulanantham, Ahilan T (California)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Bansal, Jessica Karp (California)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Battles, Lindsay B. (California)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Bibring, Peter (California)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Danjuma, R. Orion (California)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Desormeau, Katherine (California)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Eliasberg, Peter J. (California)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Fleming, Mark (Illinois)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Karp, Jessica Devlin (California)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Litt, Barrett S. (California)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-0007 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Newman, Chris (California)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Pasquarella, Jennifer (California)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Traverso, Katherine M. (California)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Wang, Cecillia D (California)
IM-CA-0064-0001 | IM-CA-0064-9000
Wofsy, Cody H. (California)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beach, Paul B (California)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Bustos, Oscar Andres (California)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Choi, Jin S (California)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Clark, Justin W. (California)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Other Lawyers Lai, Anne (California)
IM-CA-0064-9000
Weintraub, J. Max (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0064-9000

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