ACLU Foundation of Northern California v. Madera County Board of Supervisors

Closed Case
Jul 17, 2017

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Transparency, Democracy, Truth

The ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed suit in July of 2017 against the Madera County Board of Supervisors for violating California's open public meetings law, the Ralph M. Brown Act. 

On March 7, 2017, the Madera County Board of Supervisors, held a secret, closed doors session in which they adopted policies that significantly changed how ICE would interface with their county’s jails. In doing so, the Supervisors unilaterally chose to entangle the county in the Federal deportation machine, without any chance for public input. 

In response, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California took legal action against the board, asking the judge to declare that the supervisors violated the Brown Act, nullify and void any of the decisions made in the closed session, and order the supervisors to comply with the open meeting and notice requirements of the Brown Act. 

In February of 2018, Madera County and the ACLU Foundation of Northern California reached a settlement agreement. As part of the settlement, the Madera County Chief of Corrections agreed to prepare a staff report describing existing jail policies with respect to communications with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and include an analysis of Senate Bill 54 (California Values Act). The report is to be presented to the Board of Supervisors in an open session.

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