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Case Name Romero v. Securus Technologies, Inc. PC-CA-0075
Docket / Court 3:16-cv-01283-JM-MDD ( S.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On May 27, 2016, former California state prisoners filed this class action lawsuit against Securus Technologies (a prison phone service provider) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of California. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs sought class action ... read more >
On May 27, 2016, former California state prisoners filed this class action lawsuit against Securus Technologies (a prison phone service provider) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of California. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs sought class action certification, declaratory and injunctive relief, and monetary damages. The complaint asserted that Securus had recorded prisoners’ phone calls in violation of the California Invasion of Privacy Act, which allowed for statutory damages of up to $5,000 for every unlawfully recorded call, and also alleged negligence.

Specifically, the complaint alleged that Securus recorded confidential attorney-client phone calls without permission of all parties and that Securus shared recordings with law enforcement personnel. Based on the Intercept's article that 70 million phone call recordings were made by Securus, the plaintiffs estimated that half a million calls between public defenders and clients were unlawfully recorded each year.

The putative class was specified as all persons in California whose conversations were eavesdropped on or recorded by Securus from June 1, 2008 to May 27, 2016, without permission and while in the custody of law enforcement officers or agencies and their attorneys.

This case was assigned to Judge Jeffrey T. Miller. On July 5, 2016, the defendant moved to dismiss the complaint, claiming that plaintiffs lacked standing because their phone calls were not recorded and they were no longer in prison.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on July 26, 2016, which included additional causes of action, such as fraudulent concealment/intentional omission of material facts, fraud and intentional misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and conversion. The defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint on August 26, 2016.

On October 24, 2016, Judge Miller granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion. The court dismissed the plaintiffs’ conversion claim without leave to amend and dismissed the fraudulent misrepresentation claim with leave to amend. The court denied the remainder of the defendant’s motion. 2016 WL 6157953. The plaintiffs timely amended the fourth cause of action in their second amended complaint on November 7, 2016. The defendant moved to dismiss the second amended complaint on November 25, 2016.

On January 26, 2017, Judge Miller granted in part and denied in part the defendant's motion to dismiss the second amended complaint. The court held that the plaintiffs failed to satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b)’s particularity requirements and California law in alleging misrepresentations. 2017 WL 385743.

On February 8, 2017, the plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint to satisfy the fraud claim under Rule 9(b). The defendants again moved to dismiss, and on March 29, 2017, Judge Miller granted the motion without leave to amend, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to adequately plead fraud. 2017 WL 1166365.

On October 10, 2017, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify a class comprised of other prison detainees whose calls had allegedly been recorded by the defendants, which the plaintiffs asserted comprised over 120 individuals. On the same day, the plaintiffs requested that documents in this case be sealed. Judge Miller granted the motion to seal on November 7.

On April 12, 2018, Judge Miller denied the plaintiffs’ motion to certify class without prejudice because the plaintiffs had failed to identify an ascertainable and manageable class. 2018 WL 1782926. The plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment on May 22, and filed a renewed motion to certify a class on July 11, 2018, and Judge Miller ordered the parties to meet and confer to create a joint discovery plan on August 7, 2018. On August 17, 2018, the court granted the parties’ motion to stay its ruling on the renewed motion to certify class pending the result of the parties’ attempt to secure private mediation. On November 21, 2018, Judge Miller denied the plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment and granted in part the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, certifying a class consisting of every person in the physical custody of a law enforcement officer in California (and their attorneys) who had been eavesdropped on or recorded by the defendant. 331 F.R.D. 391.

The plaintiffs petitioned for leave to appeal the denial of the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment to the Ninth Circuit. However, the Ninth Circuit denied the plaintiffs’ petition. 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 5728. However, the Ninth Circuit granted the defendant’s petition for leave to appeal the district court’s class certification decision. 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 6334. On April 17, 2019, Judge Miller granted the defendants’ motion to stay the case pending resolution of the defendants’ appeal before the Ninth Circuit. 383 F. Supp. 3d 1069. The appeal before the Ninth Circuit is still pending, and the case is ongoing.

Susie Choi - 02/01/2017
Lisa Limb - 03/23/2018
Elizabeth Helpling - 11/19/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Confidentiality
Phone
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Securus Technologies, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Former prisoners who had used Securus phones while confined in San Diego County detention facilities.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 05/27/2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Court Docket(s)
S.D. Cal. 3:16−cv−01283−JM−MDD
PC-CA-0075-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/16/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D. Cal.
Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief Pursuant to California Penal Code §636 and Based on Negligence [ECF# 1]
PC-CA-0075-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/27/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 8]
PC-CA-0075-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/26/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Order Granting In Part And Denying In Part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss And Denying Defendant's Motion to Strike Class Action Allegations [ECF# 21] (2016 WL 6157953)
PC-CA-0075-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/24/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 22]
PC-CA-0075-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/07/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 29] (2017 WL 385743)
PC-CA-0075-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Third Amended Complaint [ECF# 30]
PC-CA-0075-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Order Granting Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Portions of Plaintiffs' Third Amended Complaint [ECF# 37] (2017 WL 1166365)
PC-CA-0075-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion to Expedite Discovery and for a Preservation Order [ECF# 42] (2017 WL 2869727)
PC-CA-0075-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/17/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Order on Joint Motion for Determination of Discovery Dispute Regarding Defendant's Responses to Written Discovery [ECF# 66] (2017 WL 4621223)
PC-CA-0075-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/16/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Order Denying Motion to Intervene [ECF# 73] (2017 WL 4922845)
PC-CA-0075-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/31/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Order Denying Motion to Modify Plaintiff's Deadline to Amend Pleadings [ECF# 80] (2017 WL 5569811)
PC-CA-0075-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/20/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Order Denying Defendant's Motion for Relief from Non-dispositive Pretrial Order of Magistrate Judge [ECF# 91] (2018 WL 2560327)
PC-CA-0075-0012.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/05/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Order Denying Motion for Class Certification (2018 WL 1782926)
PC-CA-0075-0015.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/12/2018
Source: Westlaw
S.D. Cal.
Order Denying Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Granting in Part Motion for Certification [ECF# 141] (331 F.R.D. 391)
PC-CA-0075-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/21/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
Order Granting Defendant's Motion for Stay Pending Appeal [ECF# 168] (383 F.Supp.3d 1069)
PC-CA-0075-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/17/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Dembin, Mitchell D Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-0008 | PC-CA-0075-0009 | PC-CA-0075-0011
Miller, Jeffrey T. (S.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-0004 | PC-CA-0075-0005 | PC-CA-0075-0007 | PC-CA-0075-0010 | PC-CA-0075-0012 | PC-CA-0075-0013 | PC-CA-0075-0014 | PC-CA-0075-0015 | PC-CA-0075-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Belsey, Adam (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-9000
Fox, Nicholas J. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-9000
Gallucci, Kas L (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-9000
Houchin, Michael (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-9000
Marron, Ronald (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-0001 | PC-CA-0075-0002 | PC-CA-0075-0003 | PC-CA-0075-0006 | PC-CA-0075-9000
Raux, Geoffrey M. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-9000
Resendes, Beatrice Skye (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-9000
Richards, William Bradford Jr. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-9000
Ridley, Eileen Regina (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-9000
Teel, Robert (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-0001 | PC-CA-0075-0002 | PC-CA-0075-0003 | PC-CA-0075-0006 | PC-CA-0075-9000
Waxman, J. Mark (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fox, Adam R. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0075-9000

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