University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Edwards et al v. Leaders in Community Alternatives, Inc. et al CJ-CA-0022
Docket / Court 3:18-cv-04609-JSC ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Special Collection Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of poverty)
Attorney Organization Equal Justice Under Law
Case Summary
On July 31, 2018, plaintiffs, persons required to wear and pay for GPS ankle monitors, filed this class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the company that creates and distribute the ankle monitors, that company's parent ... read more >
On July 31, 2018, plaintiffs, persons required to wear and pay for GPS ankle monitors, filed this class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the company that creates and distribute the ankle monitors, that company's parent company, several individual employees of the company, Alameda County, and the Chief Judge and Chief Probation Officer of Alameda County. Represented by Equal Justice Under the Law, the plaintiffs brought their claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the Fourteenth Amendment, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The case was assigned to Judge William Alsup.

The plaintiffs claimed that they, and others similarly situated, could not afford to pay the high fees required by the company that made and maintained the ankle monitors. The plaintiffs argued that because they were threatened with imprisonment if they did not make these payments, the high fees constituted a pattern of racketeering activity that caused the plaintiffs damage, including financial harm, disruption of family ties, deterioration of health, and mental stress. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendant company violated their due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment by erecting unnecessary barriers and using deceptive and illegal practices to ensure supervisees lacked (a) access to fee adjustments to which they are lawfully entitled, (b) ability-to-pay-inquiries, (c) adequate notice of fee calculation, and (d) neutral judicial review of fee demands.

The plaintiffs also claimed that the company defendants violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by violating their right not to be imprisoned or punished simply because of their wealth status. The plaintiffs argued that the county defendants violated the plaintiffs' rights under the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by allowing the company defendants to violate the plaintiffs' constitutional rights. Lastly, the plaintiffs claimed that the company defendants engage in abuse of process by using the Alameda County court system to extort fees from people sentenced to LCA who do not have the financial resources to meet LCA's demands for payment.

The plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment that subjecting the plaintiffs to the defendants' conduct as alleged in the counts listed above was unlawful; an order and judgment preliminarily and permanently enjoining the defendants from continuing the above-described policies and practices against the plaintiffs and the class of similarly situated people; a judgment compensating the plaintiffs and the class of similarly situated individuals for the damages that they suffered as a result of the defendants' unconstitutional and unlawful conduct; a judgment granting the treble and punitive damages authorized by statute based on the Defendants' willful and egregious violations of the law; and an order and judgment granting reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

On October 5, 2018, the plaintiffs voluntarily moved for dismissal of the Chief Judge of Alameda County, Judge Alsup dismissed the charges on the same day.

On October 12, 2018, defendants filed a motion to dismiss. This case is ongoing.

Anna Belkin - 10/09/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Bail/Bond
Disciplinary procedures
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961 et seq.
State law
Defendant(s) Alameda County
Leaders in Community Alternatives
SuperCom, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are African American men who are or were required by Alameda County to be part of LCA's GPS program and pay for it out of pocket.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Equal Justice Under Law
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
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 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
3:18-cv-4609 (C.D. Cal.)
CJ-CA-0022-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/12/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
CJ-CA-0022-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/31/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Alsup, William Haskell (N.D. Cal.)
CJ-CA-0022-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hatton, Marissa (District of Columbia)
CJ-CA-0022-0001
Sevcenko, Catherine B. (District of Columbia)
CJ-CA-0022-0001 | CJ-CA-0022-9000
Telfeyan, Phil (District of Columbia)
CJ-CA-0022-0001 | CJ-CA-0022-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Coleman, Susan E. (California)
CJ-CA-0022-9000
Strottman, Kristina Doan (California)
CJ-CA-0022-9000

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