January 19, 2021

ACLU and Munger Tolles & Olson Earn Victory for Residents Targeted by Gang Injunctions

Munger, Tolles & Olson partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California and the Connie Rice Institute for Urban Peace to secure a preliminary approval of a class settlement on behalf of the plaintiffs in Youth Justice Coalition v. City of Los Angeles, a class action filed on behalf of Los Angeles residents subjected to restrictive “gang injunctions”—intrusive orders that criminalized otherwise lawful, everyday activity—without due process.

The far-reaching settlement requires the city of Los Angeles to provide the right to due process to individuals before issuing gang injunctions, which had previously numbered at least four dozen and blanketed large portions of the city. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the city had placed approximately ten thousand residents on these burdensome injunctions without any opportunity to show that they did not belong there. The settlement agreement aims to fix the process by requiring that the city give any individual their day in court before subjecting them to these restrictions.

The ruling makes a significant victory for Munger Tolles, the ACLU and other groups on behalf of Los Angeles residents targeted by the city’s gang injunctions, and builds on Munger Tolles’s and the ACLU’s prior trial and appellate victory in a similar lawsuit challenging the Orange County District Attorney and Sheriff’s enforcement of a similar gang injunction in the City of Orange

The Munger, Tolles & Olson team included Laura Smolowe, Jacob Kreilkamp and Adele El-Khouri.

Further reading:

Los Angeles must change use of gang injunctions under court settlement,” LA Times, Dec. 26, 2020