August 22, 2008
ACLU Suit Against City of Lake Forest Dismissed With Prejudice
The City of Lake Forest and the Lake Forest City Council entered into a stipulated agreement to dismiss a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court brought by three day laborer organizations - La Asociacion de Trabajadores de Lake Forest, the Colectivo Tonantzin and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network - represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). During a June 20, 2008, settlement conference with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato, the ACLU agreed to dismiss the City and City Council from the lawsuit, with prejudice. The City admitted no wrongdoing, is not required to pay any damages or attorney fees, and the plaintiff organizations obtained no injunctive relief.
"We are pleased that all parties recognized no wrong doing by the City of Lake Forest," said City Attorney Scott C. Smith.
According to public court documents, on August 18, 2008, one day before trial was scheduled to begin, the plaintiff organizations reached a separate settlement with the remaining defendants - the Orange County Sheriff's Department, two of its officers, and one of its deputies. In that settlement, the Sheriff's Department defendants admitted to no liability or wrongdoing.
On March 1, 2007, the ACLU sued the City, the City Council, and the City's Chief of Police Services on behalf of the La Asociacion de Trabajadores de Lake Forest, the Colectivo Tonantzin and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, contending that an outdated employment solicitation ordinance was illegal. The City repealed the ordinance as part of its comprehensive municipal code revisions in April 2007.
The City of Lake Forest, California, a suburban community of 78,000 located in south Orange County, is rated one of the safest cities in America. Police Services are provided, via contract, by the Orange County Sheriff's Department.