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

Filing 708

ORDER denying 701 Intervenor's motion for clarification. Signed by Judge Thelton E. Henderson on 08/07/12. (tehlc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/7/2012)

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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 DENYING INTERVENOR’S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION Defendants. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 Intervenor Oakland Police Officers’ Association (“OPOA”) has filed a motion for 12 clarification of this Court’s order concerning the confidentiality of communications by the 13 Monitor. The OPOA has no objection to keeping all such communications confidential from 14 the public, but it does object to preventing its members from learning about conversations the 15 Monitor may have with the Chief of Police concerning discipline of individual officers. The 16 OPOA requests that the Court clarify that its confidentiality order does not apply to those 17 situations. The Court now DENIES that request for the reasons discussed below. 18 As an initial matter, the OPOA’s reliance on policies referring to the “chain of 19 command” or the “Discipline Officer” is misplaced. The Monitor is neither the Department’s 20 “Discipline Officer” nor in the Chief’s chain of command. Instead, the Monitor 21 communicates with the Chief of Police only as an agent of the Court, and his 22 communications therefore bear the same protection as communications from this Court. 23 Moreover, the Court is not persuaded that any officer’s due process rights will be 24 impacted by its order. The Monitor currently does not have the power to exercise the duties 25 of the Chief of Police, City Administrator, Mayor, or any other City official. Thus, unless 26 and until there is a receivership in place or the Court confers additional authorities on the 27 Monitor, the Chief’s disciplinary decisions remain his own, based on his own judgment and 28 review of records contained in the disciplinary file. If the Chief’s judgment differs from the 1 Monitor’s, the Monitor will bring that issue to the Court, and the OPOA will have a full and 2 fair opportunity to discuss the issue if the Court contemplates ordering the Chief to take a 3 particular action. Under these circumstances, the Court does not find the confidentiality of 4 communications between the Monitor and the Chief to violate any officer’s due process 5 rights. 6 Accordingly, with good cause appearing, the OPOA’s motion for clarification is 7 DENIED.1 8 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 Dated: 08/07/12 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 THELTON E. HENDERSON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 1 Plaintiffs correctly observe in their opposition that the OPOA did not follow the 27 Court’s Civil Local Rules in filing its motion. Nonetheless, because Plaintiffs have been heard in opposition and the Court is denying the requested relief, the Court finds no prejudice 28 to ruling on the motion despite the procedural improprieties. 2

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