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Judge Orders Forensic Audit and Enforcement of Settlement Related to Unconstitutional Gang Injunctions

Promised job training program overspent and underdelivered, must be extended and improved

Community leaders and attorneys stand outside the federal courthouse in downtown L.A. after a judge indicated she would grant their motion to enforce the Rodriguez v. City of Los Angeles settlement.

LOS ANGELES, MAY 8, 2024 – A federal judge has ordered the City of Los Angeles to extend the jobs and education program that was created in restitution for unjust police curfew orders. She also will appoint a forensic auditor and special master to investigate and reform longstanding problems with the program’s administration. 

In 2017, the City agreed to a settlement that would provide a jobs and education program for the nearly 6,000 Angelenos prohibited from being outside after 10 p.m. – a significant violation of their civil liberties and an abuse of police powers.

“Everyone I grew up with has been affected by this situation, and the fact that I can now help them feel whole, makes me happy,” said Tina Padilla, Executive Director of Community Warriors 4 Peace. “Finally, someone who looks like them is actually helping them!”

Public Counsel, which represented the plaintiffs in the case, took the City back to court after learning people were being turned away and subjected to an unnecessarily difficult process for obtaining program benefits. The program also spent as much as three times the amount allowed on administrative expenses, all while the vast majority of class members have received nothing from the program.

“The City owes our clients what it promised them: a jobs and education program designed to provide class members value and  improve their chances of establishing stable, well-paid careers,” said Stephanie Carroll, Public Counsel’s lead attorney on the case. “Instead, it created a hard-to-access program overwhelmed by administrative bloat. We’re relieved the court has ordered an audit of the City’s finances and practices and has continued the claims deadline while that happens. We encourage anyone who’s still facing barriers to access to contact us for assistance.”

The City’s administration of the settlement’s program has been characterized by long delays in providing class members services, as well as asking them to cover costs out of pocket and wait weeks or months for reimbursement. In addition, it may have spent as much as 33% of the settlement funding on administration, despite the fact that the agreement set a 10% cap. The exact spending amount has been difficult to determine due to poorly maintained and inconsistent financial records.

“In 2011, I filed Rodriguez v. Los Angeles to stop the unfair treatment of youth of color throughout the city – that’s what Christian Rodriguez and Alberto Cazarez took a stand against,” said Olu K. Orange, one of the co-counsel on the original case. “The Court’s latest order stops the City from unfairly spending money from the class fund while telling the class members there’s nothing left.”

Under the judge’s ruling, an outside party will oversee the program going forward, and a forensic auditor will review the program’s finances to conclusively determine how the money was and is being spent.

The case is Rodriguez v. Los Angeles, and the plaintiffs were represented by Public Counsel, Orange Law Offices, and Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai. Anyone eligible for the program created under the settlement who is struggling to get the full benefit of the program should contact the class member hotline at 310-997-0380 for assistance.

For more information about the Rodriguez v. City of Los Angeles class action and settlement, click here.


For media inquiries, email Ian Watts here.

About Public Counsel

Public Counsel is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to advancing civil rights and racial and economic justice, as well as to amplifying the power of our clients through comprehensive legal advocacy. Founded on and strengthened by a pro bono legal service model, our staff and volunteers seek justice through direct legal services, promote healthy and resilient communities through education and outreach, and support community-led efforts to transform unjust systems through litigation and policy advocacy in and beyond Los Angeles. For more information, visit 

About Orange Law Offices

Orange Law Offices, P.C. handles cases nationwide which bring about impactful change. Attorney Olu K,. Orange has won precedent setting cases in California establishing that police officers cannot use their victims’ mistakes to offset their own liability for intentional harm (Burley 2020) and that non-biological, non-adopted, non-foster children have standing to sue for the wrongful deaths of their parents (A.G. 2018). Orange also set federal precedent for the 63 million Americans living in the Ninth Circuit that pre-death pain and suffering damages are recoverable when government agents kill their victims — ending “the perverse effect of making it more economically advantageous for a defendant to kill rather than injure his victim” (Chaudhry 2014).

About Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai

Over the past four decades, the firm has persevered in advancing the line towards justice in civil rights and employment litigation, garnering a long list of groundbreaking and historic cases and victories. Whether it was holding the Los Angeles Police Department responsible for allowing homophobia to infiltrate the workplace in Grobeson v. Los Angeles, representing Burmese villagers against the military and an oil company for destruction of their village in Doe v Unocal, advocating for the South Central Farmers in their quest to preserve their 14-acre community farm in South Los Angeles, fighting for victims of police abuse in the class action Rodriguez v Los Angeles, advancing the interests of workers and consumers who have suffered wage theft and fraud in the billions of dollars in class action litigation, or obtaining justice for victims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai has been at the forefront of the fight.

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