University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Guerrero v. Cal. Dep't of Corr. & Rehab IM-CA-0076
Docket / Court No. 3:13-cv-05671 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On December 9, 2013, a United States citizen of Latino national origin filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff, represented by the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center, brought this complaint under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and ... read more >
On December 9, 2013, a United States citizen of Latino national origin filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff, represented by the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center, brought this complaint under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and state law against the state of California. He sought monetary, injunctive, and declaratory relief, claiming employment discrimination in violation of the Due Process Clauses and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution and California State Constiuttion, national origin discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and National Origin and Ancestry Discrimination in Violation of
California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The case was assigned to Judge William Alsup.

Specifically, the plaintiff had applied for a job as a Correctional Officer with the California Department of Corrections in 2011. He claimed that he was unlawfully removed from consideration because he reported in a background questionnaire that prior to becoming a permanent resident and then citizen of the United States, he used a social security number that was not his own to obtain work. Plaintiff paid all required taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) until he obtained his own social security number. He was reportedly removed from consideration because his use of a fake social security number was deemed to "show a lack of honesty, integrity and good judgment." A similar series of events occurred when plaintiff reapplied for the same position in 2013.

The state responded that questions about the use of a false social security number were necessary to conduct a thorough background investigation of candidates. The state also asserted that there was no Title VII violation because the plaintiff's claim rested on immigration status and not national origin, and because the hiring statistics indicated that there was no discriminatory effect on Latino hiring at the California Department of Corrections.

On May 7, 2014, the District Court (Judge William Alsup) dismissed plaintiff's Section 1983 equal protection and substantive due process claims, as well as the Title VII claim against the State Personnel Board, but denied motions to dismiss the Title VII claim against the California Department of Corrections and procedural due process claim. The District Court dismissed all state law claims without prejudice. 2014 WL 1867067.

On July 17, 2015, the District Court denied without prejudice the plaintiff's motion for leave to amend, and directed plaintiff to engage in further discovery prior to his final opportunity to move to amend his equal protection claims and Title VII claim against the State Personnel Board. The court granted him leave on October 29, 2014. 2014 WL 5474950. The plaintiff filed his third and final amend complaint the same day.

On March 12, 2015, the state filed another motion for summary judgment. On July 21, the court granted the plaintiff’s Title VII claims, holding that asking applicants whether they had ever used a fake social security number had a disparate impact on Latinos. The court dismissed the plaintiffs' equal protection claim. 119 F.Supp.3d 1065. The court issued a final order as to relief on September 28, 2015. This order held that the plaintiff should be allowed to finish the hiring process. If he was able to successfully pass background investigation and complete the training academy, he would be awarded $140,362 in backpay. The plaintiff was also granted attorneys’ fees. 2015 WL 5681029.

On October 6, 2015, the state appealed the judgment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

On October 30, 2015, the plaintiff moved for the award of his attorneys’ fees. The parties disagreed about how much in attorneys’ fees would be appropriate, so the court decided that a third party should decide the amount. 2015 WL 7423229. On January 28, 2016, the court appointed a special master to make this determination. The special master decided that the state owed the plaintiff $1,237,024.82 in fees and costs, and the court approved this amount on June 16, 2016. 2016 WL 3360638.

Four days later, the state appealed the order granting attorneys’ fees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. (Its first appeal had not yet been ruled on.) On May 16, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s judgment as to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation but reversed the judgment as to the State Personnel Board because the Personnel Board was not part of the hiring process and had no say in the questions on the job application. 701 Fed.Appx. 613. The case was remanded to the District Court to reassess damages against one state defendant rather than two. 2017 WL 6270383.

On January 30, the parties filed a stipulation in the Ninth Circuit stating that they resolved the attorneys’ fees dispute informally, outside of court. In light of this stipulation, the Ninth Circuit dismissed all pending motions as moot on March 27, 2018.

There are no further entries in the docket since March 2018. The case is presumably closed.

Samantha Kirby - 09/20/2014
Rebecca Strauss - 06/29/2018


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Hire
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Employment
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State Anti-Discrimination Law
State law
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) California
Plaintiff Description Latino-American man, who became a U.S. citizen in 2010, who was deemed ineligible for a Correctional Officer position for having previously used an SSN that was not his own.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Private Settlement Agreement
Filing Year 2013
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:13-cv-05671-WHA (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0076-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/28/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0076-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/09/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motions to Dismiss Federal Claims and Dismissing All Claims Brought Under California State Law [ECF# 52] (2014 WL 1867067) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0076-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/07/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion for Leave to File Third Amended Complaint and Vacating Hearing [ECF# 116] (2014 WL 5474950) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0076-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint for Employment Discrimination and Constitutional Violations [ECF# 117]
IM-CA-0076-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [ECF# 263] (119 F.Supp.3d 1065) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0076-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/21/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment [ECF# 278] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0076-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Re Attorney's Fees and Costs [ECF# 313] (2015 WL 7423229) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0076-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/23/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Resolving Objections, Adopting Special Master's Report and Recommendation with One Modification, and Fixing Compensation [ECF# 360] (2016 WL 3360638) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0076-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/16/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [Ct. of App. ECF# 100] (701 Fed.Appx. 613)
IM-CA-0076-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Modified Judgment [ECF# 400] (2017 WL 6270383) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0076-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/09/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Alsup, William Haskell (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0076-0003 | IM-CA-0076-0004 | IM-CA-0076-0006 | IM-CA-0076-0007 | IM-CA-0076-0008 | IM-CA-0076-0011 | IM-CA-0076-9000
Ryu, Donna Miae Court not on record [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0076-9000
Monitors/Masters Borden, Matthew Brooks (California)
IM-CA-0076-9000
Chen, Christina Pei−Lin (California)
IM-CA-0076-0009 | IM-CA-0076-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chien, Marsha Jade (California)
IM-CA-0076-0001 | IM-CA-0076-0005 | IM-CA-0076-9000
Diaz, Marisa (California)
IM-CA-0076-9000
Ho, Christopher (California)
IM-CA-0076-0001 | IM-CA-0076-0005 | IM-CA-0076-9000
Pearl, Richard M (California)
IM-CA-0076-9000
Villalobos, Stacy (California)
IM-CA-0076-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Aguilar, Jorge (California)
IM-CA-0076-9000
Bacskai Egel, Dorothy I. (California)
IM-CA-0076-9000
Gittisriboongul, Alvin (California)
IM-CA-0076-9000
Neri, Miguel Angel (California)
IM-CA-0076-9000
Tigno, Fiel D (California)
IM-CA-0076-9000
Young, Christopher M. (California)
IM-CA-0076-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -