Today Judge Phillip Gutierrez Issued Final Order Dismissing LA Catholic Worker v. City Of LA, Central City East Association. Settlement With City Includes An LAPD Directive Applicable To ALL BIDs In The City Of Los Angeles Stating Explicitly, Among Other Crucial Things, That BID Security Has No More Authority Than Private People To Enforce The Law

A couple weeks ago the City Council approved a settlement with LA Catholic Worker, LA Community Action Network, and individual plaintiffs in the monumental case against the City and the Downtown Industrial District BID, which itself settled in March. This afternoon, Judge Phillip Gutierrez filed an order dismissing the case. Thus it’s all done except for the four years of judicial oversight to make sure that the defendants are adhering to the terms of the settlement.

The terms of the settlement with the CCEA are fairly strict, and I hadn’t seen a copy of the terms of the settlement with the City. But it turns out that on Wednesday the parties filed a a request for the case to be dismissed, which lays out the specifics. As I expected, the City agrees not to cooperate with the Downtown Industrial District security forces in confiscating property and they make some other important but not so surprising concessions.

To my mind, though, the most interesting part of what the City agreed to is this training bulletin, to be distributed to the LAPD’s central division. Although it’s a result of a suit arising from the City’s relationship with a specific BID, and although it’s only to be distributed in the one division, the wording applies to all BIDs in the City of Los Angeles. There’s a transcription after the break, but one crucial bit is this, which someone really should explain to the Hollywood BID Patrol:

BIDs are separate and distinct from the City. BID officers, employees, and representatives are not employees or agents of the City. Importantly, BID employees have no more authority than private citizens to enforce the law.

Amazingly, the bulletin also reminds police officers that they are required to treat reports of BID Patrol property confiscation as they do any other report of a theft. This settlement is a truly monumental accomplishment on the plaintiffs’ part, and our City is far, far better off for their work. They have a lot to be proud of here.

Full text of LAPD training bulletin:


This Notice provides guidance to Department personnel regarding interactions with Business Improvement Districts (“BIDs”) because of recent litigation involving BID security officers seizing the personal property of homeless persons. A BID is a geographically defined area within the City of Los Angeles in which supplemental services and activities are provided to business or property owners within the BID area. BIDs perform such services as tree trimming, trash collection, power washing of sidewalks, graffiti removal, and other upkeep and maintenance activities. Some BIDs provide security or safety services on the public rights of way within the district.

BIDs are separate and distinct from the City. BID officers, employees, and representatives are not employees or agents of the City. Importantly, BID employees have no more authority than private citizens to enforce the law.

Department personnel shall not request, direct, nor authorize any BID officer or employee to seize or remove attended or unattended personal property of homeless persons, or property that the Department itself is prevented from seizing and removing. If a person claims that a BID officer or employee has improperly taken or confiscated his or her personal belongings, Department personnel should treat that claim the same as any other report consistent with LAPD policy and procedure.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.