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Johson v. City of Los Angeles

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 17, 2019

CHRISTAL JOHNSON, an individual and as a Personal Representative of Mariyon Williams; EBONY TAYLOR, an individual and as a Personal Representative of Jayland Strickland, and BRIDGETTE GREEN, an individual and as a Personal Representative of Monyae Jackson, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES; MICHEL MOORE, CHIEF OF LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, Defendants.

          PROTECTIVE ORDER RE: DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION PURSUANT TO STIPULATION

          HON. FREDERICK F. MUMM, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         WHEREAS, Plaintiffs are seeking materials and information that Defendants City of Los Angeles, et al. (“City Defendants”) maintain as confidential, such as personnel files of the police officers involved in this incident, Force Investigation Division materials and information, Internal Affairs materials and information, bodycam video, in-car video, names of officers involved in the incident which is the subject of this lawsuit, and other administrative materials and information currently in the possession of the City Defendants and which the City Defendants believe need special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting this litigation;

         WHEREAS, Plaintiffs are also seeking official information contained in the personnel files of the involved police officers, LAPD Officers, which the City Defendants maintain as strictly confidential and which the City Defendants believe need special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting this litigation;

         WHEREAS, the City Defendants assert that the confidentiality of the materials and information sought by Plaintiffs is recognized by California and federal law, as evidenced inter alia by California Penal Code section 832.7 and Kerr v. United States Dist. Ct. for N.D. Cal., 511 F.2d 192, 198 (9th Cir. 1975), aff'd, 426 U.S. 394 (1976);

         WHEREAS, the City Defendants have not publicly released the materials and information referenced above except under protective order or pursuant to court order, if at all;

         WHEREAS, these materials and information are of the type that has been used to initiate disciplinary action against Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) officers, and has been used as evidence in disciplinary proceedings, where the officers' conduct was considered to be contrary to LAPD policy;

         WHEREAS, absent a protective order delineating the responsibilities of nondisclosure on the part of the parties hereto, there is a specific risk of unnecessary and undue disclosure by one or more of the many attorneys, secretaries, law clerks, paralegals and expert witnesses involved in this case, as well as the corollary risk of embarrassment, harassment and professional and legal harm on the part of the LAPD officers referenced in the materials and information;

         WHEREAS, the unfettered disclosure of the materials and information, absent a protective order, would allow the media to share this information with potential jurors in the area, impacting the rights of the City Defendants herein to receive a fair trial.

         The Court Orders as follows:

         1. Defendants (hereinafter “Disclosing Party(ies)”) may designate as confidential any personnel files, videos, body worn video, in car video, video from the businesses in the neighborhood, Internal Affairs materials or any other materials or writing that they, in good faith, believe is protected from disclosure within the meaning of FRCivP 26(g), in that they believe the material contains confidential or private information. Such materials may be classified as subject to this protective order by marking the material, each document or writing with a watermark that includes words such as “Confidential, ” “Confidential Documents, ” “Confidential Material, ” “Subject to Protective Order, ” or words of a similar effect, and that includes the case name and case number. Materials and writings so designated, and all privileged information derived therefrom [hereinafter collectively referred to as “Confidential Material”], shall be treated in accordance with the terms of this Stipulation. In making this designation, the Disclosing Parties are also representing that no portion of the materials is segregable and, therefore, subject to production without restriction as “Confidential.”

         2. Confidential Material may be used by the persons receiving such information [hereinafter “Receiving Party(ies)”] only for the purpose of litigation of this case, and for such other purposes as permitted by law.

         3. This Stipulation applies not only to the Confidential Material, but also to (1) any information copied or extracted from the Confidential Material; (2) all copies, excerpts, summaries or compilations of Confidential Material; and (3) any testimony, conversations, or presentations by Receiving Parties that might reveal Confidential Material.

         4. Subject to the further conditions imposed by this Stipulation, the Confidential Material may only be disclosed to the Court and to the ...


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