Mar 15, 2019 Briefing Room

County’s Standard Administrative Leave Gag Order Interfered with Peace Officer and Union Rights

The County of Santa Clara initiated an investigation against Lance Scimeca, a peace officer and the president of the Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), for alleged violations of the County’s workplace communications policies. The County placed Scimeca on paid administrative leave and directed him to stay off of Sheriff’s Office property. The County also ordered him not to discuss the matter “with any witnesses, potential witnesses, the complainant, or any other employee of the Sheriff’s Office other than [his] official representative.”

Mar 15, 2019 Briefing Room

County Violated MMBA by Refusing Employee’s Request for Representation and Disciplining Him for Making the Request

Joel Madarang was a Custody Recreation Supervisor at the County of San Joaquin’s jail. As a Custody Recreation Supervisor, Madarang supervised inmate recreation programs. In 2014, Madarang began conducting bingo games for the female general population inmates on Thursday afternoons. Later, Madarang’s supervisor, Kristen Hamilton, emailed him directing him to change the start time of the bingo games from 1:00 p.m. to 10:30 a.m. in order to make room for a new mental health program designed to decrease the recidivism rate.

Mar 15, 2019 Briefing Room

County Violated MMBA by Changing Performance Targets without Consulting the Union

The County of Kern’s Department of Mental Health operates a mental health clinic. Medi-Cal reimburses the Department for some of the services it provides. These reimbursable services are known as “direct services.”

Mar 15, 2019 Briefing Room

Right to Access Privately Held Records Does Not Establish Constructive Possession for a CPRA Request

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) contracts with privately owned companies to tow and store impounded vehicles. These tow companies are referred to as Official Police Garages (OPGs). After an LAPD officer contacts an OPG to impound a vehicle, the OPG enters information regarding the impoundment into a database called the Vehicle Information Impound Center (VIIC). The VIIC database is maintained by a private organization comprised of OPGs called the Official Police Garage Association of Los Angeles (OPGLA). The OPG also scans its portion of a form prepared by the LAPD officer into a separate database called Laserfiche, which is owned by an independent document storage company that contracts with OPGLA.

Mar 15, 2019 Briefing Room

No Qualified Immunity Where Correctional Officer Administered Strong Blows to Compliant Pretrial Detainee

In an unpublished decision from the federal Ninth Circuit, the Court held that a correctional officer who struck a pretrial detainee was not entitled to summary judgment on an excessive force claim filed by the detainee. 

Mar 15, 2019 Briefing Room

Application of Exclusionary Rule in Criminal Proceeding Did Not Require Suppression of Same Evidence at Administrative Hearing

Officer Ernesto Ramirez, Jr., a correctional officer, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol while off duty. Police Officer Jesse Padgett, the arresting officer, had observed Ramirez speed through a private, commercial parking lot and fail to stop at a posted four-way stop.  Pagdett activated his patrol lights and siren in the parking lot, but Ramirez continued to drive briefly before pulling over. Pagdett drew his weapon when the vehicles came to a stop and effected the arrest after Ramirez failed a field sobriety test.