Allen, et al v. City of Oakland, et al

Filing 924

ORDER of clarification re: scope of Compliance Director's authority. Signed by Judge Thelton E. Henderson on 04/10/13. (tehlc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/10/2013)

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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 5 DELPHINE ALLEN, et al., 6 7 8 9 Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF OAKLAND, et al., MASTER CASE FILE NO. C00-4599 TEH ORDER OF CLARIFICATION RE: SCOPE OF COMPLIANCE DIRECTOR’S AUTHORITY Defendants. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 It has become apparent from the Compliance Director’s early conversations with 12 officials from Defendant City of Oakland that the City is attempting to limit unilaterally the 13 scope of the Compliance Director’s authority. The Court issues this order – which should be 14 unnecessary – to clarify that its orders mean what they say. 15 As was made clear in the Court’s December 12, 2012 order establishing the 16 Compliance Director position, the Compliance Director’s authority is not limited to the tasks 17 in the Negotiated Settlement Agreement (“NSA”) that are not in compliance, nor even to all 18 tasks in the NSA. As but one example, the City agreed, and the Court ordered, that the 19 Compliance Director has the authority to address “[s]trategies to decrease the number of 20 police misconduct complaints, claims, and lawsuits,” although doing so is not required by 21 any task in the NSA. Dec. 12, 2012 Order re: Compliance Director at 4; Dec. 5, 2012 22 Parties’ Proposed Order at 7. Likewise, the City agreed, and the Court ordered, that the 23 Compliance Director has authority over “tactical initiatives that may have a direct or indirect 24 impact on the NSA and AMOU [Amended Memorandum of Understanding].” Dec. 12, 2012 25 Order at 6; Dec. 5, 2012 Proposed Order at 8. Most broadly, the City agreed that, “[i]n 26 addition to the specific tasks in the NSA and AMOU, the Compliance Director will be 27 empowered to review, investigate and/or take corrective action with regard to OPD [Oakland 28 Police Department] policies, procedures and practices that are related to the objectives of the 1 NSA and the AMOU.” Dec. 5, 2012 Proposed Order at 6 (emphasis added). Pursuant to that 2 agreement, the Court ordered that: “The Compliance Director will have the power to review, 3 investigate, and take corrective action regarding OPD policies, procedures, and practices that 4 are related to the objectives of the NSA and AMOU, even if such policies, procedures, or 5 practices do not fall squarely within any specific NSA task.” Dec. 12, 2012 Order at 6 6 (emphasis added). The Compliance Director’s powers are broad, and the City shall 7 immediately cease its misguided efforts to constrict the Court’s orders. Any City officials or 8 personnel, without exception, who fail to do so will be subject to show cause hearings before 9 this Court as to why sanctions should not be imposed against them. In addition, the City appears to have increased its reliance on legal or contractual1 11 arguments when dealing with the Compliance Director and Monitor, both of whom have For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 expertise in the substantive issues in this case but neither of whom has been trained in the 13 law. If the City continues to pursue this strategy, the Court may appoint legal counsel to 14 assist the Compliance Director and/or Monitor in their discussions with the City. The fees of 15 any counsel so appointed will be paid by the City. 16 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 19 Dated: 04/10/13 20 THELTON E. HENDERSON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 21 22 23 24 25 1 To avoid any ambiguity, the Court makes explicit that which should have been clear 26 from the outset: The scope of the Monitor’s work is governed by this Court and not by the Monitor’s contract with the City. If the City contends that it cannot pay the Monitor for any 27 work ordered or directed by this Court that may go beyond the contract, then the City shall immediately notify the Court so that the Court can arrange for payment of the Monitor’s 28 reasonable fees and expenses through the Court’s registry. 2