Scales of Justice in Courtroom

Legal Docket

For decades, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California has used the courts to protect and expand the rights of all Californians. From fighting against the internment of Japanese Americans, to suing California Highway Patrol for targeting Black and Latinx drivers, the ACLU is building a more just state one lawsuit at a time.

People marching

Maral v. City of Live Oak

Feb 13, 2014
In 1996, the people of California passed an initiative to ensure that “seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.” This initiative (Proposition 215), as well as a later law passed by the Legislature (S.B. 420), makes it clear that California patients and their caregivers can grow and cultivate marijuana for medical use. However, at the end of 2013 t... Read More
Bob Offer-Westort photo by Emory Jones

Offer-Westort v. San Francisco (Warrantless Cell Phone Search)

Mar 20, 2013
The ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed a lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco and San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr on March 20, 2013 challenging the warrantless searches of cell phones of individuals who have been arrested. The suit was brought on behalf of a civil rights activist, Bob Offer-Westort, whose cell phone was searched by the San Francisco Police Departm... Read More

Mejia v. Aitken (Immigration Detention)

Mar 13, 2013
On Feb. 6, 2013 the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, along with Bertha Mejia Espinoza's immigration attorney Rosy Cho, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, seeking Ms. Mejia's release from Yuba County Jail.On the basis of minor, nonviolent offenses primarily petty theft of food items, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security (ICE) has... Read More
Pepper spray cop

Baker v. Katehi (UC Davis Pepper Spray Cop)

Jan 09, 2013
21 students and alumni filed a federal lawsuit on Feb. 22, 2012 against UC Davis over the University's treatment of protesters during a Nov. 18, 2011 demonstration in which campus police were caught on video dousing seated protesters with pepper spray. Read More
We are the 99%

ACLU v. FBI (Occupy Surveillance)

Aug 24, 2012
In early 2012, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed a Freedom of Information Act request to enforce the public's right to information about government surveillance of the political movement "Occupy Wall Street." But after the FBI failed to provided documents, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California sued. The lawsuit is ongoing. Read More

Palmer v. West Contra Costa County Unified School District

Jun 12, 2012
The ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed suit on behalf of two concerned taxpayers against the West Contra Costa Unified School District, over conditions at district's Community Day School Program. The lawsuit seeks to compel the district to relocate its Community Day School Program (CDSP) and to provide adequate staffing, instructional materials, and legally required services to its stude... Read More
DNA swab

People v. Buza (Mandatory DNA Collection)

Jun 01, 2012
The ACLU Foundation of Northern California has long been fighting against a provision of a 2004 California initiative (Prop. 69) that requires anyone arrested for a felony - including for crimes such as simple drug possession or joyriding - to provide a DNA sample that will be stored in a criminal database. Read More
ACLU of Northern CA

People v. Allen and Darocy

May 14, 2012
The ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed an amicus brief asking the Santa Cruz County Superior Court to dismiss felony conspiracy charges against two photojournalists who accompanied a group of activists into a vacant bank building. The journalists were arrested and charged with conspiracy, as well as trespass and vandalism, after they took and published photographs of the occupation. Read More

ACLU Foundation of Northern California v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Dec 20, 2011
On Nov. 17, 2010, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed a suit under the California Public Records Act to demand records from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) about its recent acquisition of sodium thiopental, a controlled substance used as part of California's lethal injection protocol for executing death row inmates.In late September, the CDCR as... Read More
ACLU of Northern CA

Benjamin Brown v. Shasta Union High School District (Student Drug Testing)

Sep 06, 2011
Join the math team, take a drug test. That was the rule at the Shasta Union High School District, which enacted a policy requiring students to submit to random drug testing in order to participate in any school-sponsored activities, including choir, the science bowl, and the mock trial team. Mandatory suspicionless school drug testing, an approach promoted with fervor by the Bush Administration, v... Read More