Cases & Deals

Los Angeles County secures dismissal of claims of retaliation and discrimination

Client(s) Los Angeles County

Jones Day secured a victory for Los Angeles County in a federal retaliation/discrimination lawsuit brought by four former officers of the now-defunct Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety ("OPS"). Plaintiffs alleged that the County improperly shut down OPS in retaliation for a discrimination lawsuit filed by OPS officers a decade earlier, and that the County improperly denied them jobs as deputy sheriffs once OPS was eliminated. Plaintiffs' claims included violation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, various violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Peace Officers Bill of Rights Act, and a petition for Writ of Mandate. Jones Day brought a successful motion to dismiss on behalf of the County, arguing that plaintiffs could not identify any "property interest" that was violated and that they failed to allege any deprivation resulting from a County policy or custom. The court agreed, holding that the plaintiffs did not have a "property right" when an entire department was eliminated by vote of the Board of Supervisors, and that they were not guaranteed deputy sheriff positions. The court dismissed plaintiffs' Section 1983 claim with prejudice and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims, dismissing them without prejudice. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the federal court's decision in full.

Esparza, et al. v. County of Los Angeles et al., No. 11-56523 (9th Cir.), No. 11-CV-02589 (C.D. Cal.)