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

Filing 861

ORDER to meet and confer re: 752 Plaintiffs' motion to appoint receiver. Joint statement due by 11/29/12. Deadline to submit witness list extended to 11/29/12. Signed by Judge Thelton E. Henderson on 11/14/12. (tehlc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/14/2012)

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1 2 3 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 7 DELPHINE ALLEN, et al., 8 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF OAKLAND, et al., MASTER CASE FILE NO. C00-4599 TEH ORDER TO MEET AND CONFER RE: PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO APPOINT RECEIVER Defendants. 12 13 Plaintiffs’ motion to appoint a receiver is scheduled to be heard before the Court on 14 December 13, 2012. On November 8, 2012, Defendants and Intervenor Oakland Police 15 Officers’ Association (“OPOA”) filed timely responses to Plaintiffs’ motion. The OPOA 16 “does not dispute or disagree with many points raised” by Plaintiffs’ motion, OPOA Opp’n 17 at 1; indeed, the union’s arguments focus on its agreement with Plaintiffs that the leadership 18 of the City and Department has been ineffective. While the OPOA does not explicitly argue 19 for further court intervention, it does not oppose it. 20 Defendants oppose the appointment of a receiver, but their opposition papers make 21 clear that the City of Oakland and its leaders, as well as the leadership of the Oakland Police 22 Department, do not contest a number of critical issues. Defendants “do not suggest that the 23 status quo is either appropriate or acceptable,” and they “acknowledge that more aggressive 24 and invasive assistance is necessary to effect significant and lasting reform.” Defs.’ Opp’n 25 at 2. They also agree with Plaintiffs on the factors that courts generally consider when 26 deciding whether to appoint a receiver and contest only four of these factors: whether “there 27 is a grave and immediate threat or actuality of harm”; whether “less extreme measures have 28 been exhausted or proven futile”; “whether there is bad faith”; and “whether a receiver is 1 likely to provide a relatively quick and efficient remedy.”1 Id. at 12 (citing Plata v. 2 Schwarzenegger, Case No. C01-1351 TEH, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8878 at *22 (N.D. Cal. 3 May 10, 2005)). Admitting that “several of the . . . factors exist here,” Defendants concede 4 that “continued insistence [on] compliance with the Court’s orders would lead only to 5 confrontation and delay”; that “there is a lack of leadership to turn the tide within a 6 reasonable time”; and that “resources are being wasted.” Id. 7 To overcome these shortcomings, Defendants propose what they consider to be an 8 effective remedy short of receivership. Specifically, they request “the appointment of both a 9 Compliance Director and Assistant Chief of Constitutional Policing.” Defs.’ Opp’n at 25. 11 done in consultation with the Monitor under this Court’s January 24, 2012 order, Defendants For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 While the appointment of an Assistant Chief of Constitutional Policing would need to be 12 do not indicate why a court order is required to create this position, or why they have 13 previously failed to create what they now suggest is an “essential” position that would help 14 “[t]o ensure lasting change.” Id. at 27. Either the position is unnecessary and would result in 15 wasted resources, or it is necessary and the failure to adopt such a position earlier indicates a 16 lack of leadership or will.2 17 As to the proposed Compliance Director, Defendants request that this be a “salaried, 18 full-time, on-site position,” and indicate that a court order is required to create such a 19 position. Id. at 25, 28. It is not clear to the Court whether or how this position differs from 20 the receiver that Plaintiffs seek. For example, Defendants assert that Plaintiffs seek a 21 receiver who would “have complete control over the entire Department,” id. at 25, but it is 22 not clear that this is the case. Plaintiffs request the appointment of “a receiver who shall 23 have the power to bring the City and OPD into compliance with the NSA and AMOU.” Mot. 24 1 The Court expresses no views on these disputed factors at this time and will address 25 them, if necessary, in further proceedings. 2 26 Likewise, it is not clear why Defendants have only recently taken action to “(a) identify the negative norms, mores and values” that “are impeding and, in some cases, 27 undermining the City’s efforts to achieve complete compliance with the NSA,” and “(b) develop a viable strategy for moving forward with implementation of NSA provisions.” 28 Jordan Decl. ¶¶ 6, 8. 2 1 at 50. Defendants apparently assume that this would involve control over the entire 2 Department, but Plaintiffs’ intent is not clear. The Court does not now decide whether such 3 broad control is required; however, it notes that if Defendants assume that control over the 4 entire Department is necessary “to bring the City and OPD into compliance with the NSA 5 and AMOU,” then their proposal to create a position with lesser powers would necessarily be 6 inadequate. 7 One of the differences between the parties’ proposals could be that Defendants do not 8 clearly indicate whether they intend for the Compliance Director to be appointed by and 9 report to the Court. However, Defendants’ request for the creation of a Compliance Director 11 incapable, without the Court’s further intervention, of finally getting the Department into For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 position acknowledges that the current leadership of the City and the Department is 12 compliance. By Defendants’ own admission, nothing would be achieved if the only further 13 remedy were another intermediate position that reported to Defendants’ existing leadership. 14 Any proposal would therefore be a nonstarter if it does not include appointment by and 15 reporting to the Court, or if it does not include ample powers to ensure full compliance. 16 Although the differences, if any, between the parties’ proposed remedies are not clear 17 from their respective papers, Defendants’ opposition underscores that the City and 18 Department are in full agreement with Plaintiffs that the status quo must change, and that this 19 Court’s further intervention is both desirable and required. Given the potential for 20 substantial, if not complete, agreement on an appropriate further remedy, IT IS HEREBY 21 ORDERED that the parties shall immediately meet and confer to attempt to reach agreement. 22 The Court will entertain a joint request for a referral to a magistrate judge to assist with this 23 process if the parties agree that such assistance would be helpful. The parties would be wise 24 to consult with the Monitor during the meet-and-confer process, as the Court will consider 25 his views on whether any proposed remedy would be appropriate and effective. If it appears 26 necessary, the Court may also issue an order to show cause as to why an independent expert 27 should not be appointed to advise the Court under Federal Rule of Evidence 706. 28 3 1 To be clear, the Court will not approve any stipulation submitted by the parties if it 2 concludes that the proposed remedy would be unlikely to lead to full compliance in a 3 reasonable time. Even if the Court were to approve a further remedy short of receivership, it 4 would continually evaluate whether that remedy was proving to be effective and might 5 subsequently consider the necessity of appointing a receiver. 6 Consistent with the above, IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, on or before the 7 November 29 deadline for Plaintiffs to file their reply, the parties shall file a joint statement 8 setting forth all areas on which they have agreed, thereby narrowing the scope of any 9 necessary proceedings before this Court. Plaintiffs shall focus their reply only on issues that 11 list to November 29, to allow maximum time for discussion on what issues, if any, will need For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 remain in dispute. The Court extends the deadline for the parties to submit a joint witness 12 to be considered at the December 13 hearing. 13 14 IT IS SO ORDERED. 15 16 Dated: 11/14/12 17 THELTON E. HENDERSON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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