United States v. City of New Orleans

Docket: 13-30161 Opinion Date: September 27, 2013
Judge: Davis
Areas of Law: Criminal Law, Government & Administrative Law, Labor & Employment Law

The DOJ filed suit against the City in order to remedy the patterns or practices identified in an investigation of conduct by the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) that subjected individuals to excessive force, unlawful searches and seizures, and discriminatory policing practices. On the same day the complaint was filed, the City and the DOJ agreed to a proposed consent decree outlining reform measures for the NOPD. On appeal, the City challenged the district court’s orders entering judgment on the consent decree and denying the City’s motion to vacate the judgment under Rule 60(b). The court concluded that the City consented to both consent decrees at issue; the City could afford to fund both consent decrees; the secondary employment provisions of the NOPD consent decree did not violate federal or state law; the investigations and negotiations with the DOJ were not tainted by the actions of DOJ employees; and procedural deficiencies did not taint the district court’s approval process and further erode the City’s consent. Accordingly, the court rejected the City’s contentions and affirmed the judgment of the district court.