LA Residents Win Historic Ruling Shutting Down Unconstitutional Enforcement of ‘Gang Injunctions’

Munger, Tolles & Olson obtained a classwide preliminary injunction on March 15, 2018 barring the City of Los Angeles from enforcing “gang injunctions,” which the city uses to prevent individuals the city has decided are gang members from participating in various ordinary, legal activities.

In this historic ruling, Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California wrote that the plaintiff class of individuals against whom the city is enforcing at least one of its dozens of active civil gang injunctions had demonstrated a likelihood of success in proving that their due process and First Amendment rights are being violated, and that the ongoing violation of their rights was likely to cause them irreparable harm.

The ruling, which was covered by the Los Angeles Times and other press outlets, put most of the city’s dozens of injunctions on hold while the lawsuit makes its way through court.

Filed in October 2016, Youth Justice Coalition v. City of Los Angeles, which was certified as a class action in January 2018, follows the firm’s successful class action challenge to similar unconstitutional procedures in Orange County, which resulted in a landmark opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holding that a class of Orange County residents’ rights had been violated.

The firm is co-counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California and the Connie Rice Institute for Urban Peace. On June 8, 2018, the ACLU will recognize Munger, Tolles & Olson’s work on this case with the 2018 Equal Justice Award.

The Munger, Tolles & Olson team includes Laura D. Smolowe, Jacob S. Kreilkamp, Ankur Mandhania and Adele M. El-Khouri.