San Francisco reaches pioneering agreement that protects public safety and eliminates unconstitutional system that let the wealthy pay their way out of jail
SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 30, 2019) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Sheriff Vicki Hennessy today announced that they have reached a proposed settlement in a federal class-action lawsuit brought by a national civil rights group over the pre-arraignment bail system.
In 2016, Hennessy and Herrera took the groundbreaking step of declining to defend the constitutionality of a state law that requires the Sheriff to release pre-arraignment defendants who post bail according to a bail schedule set by the San Francisco Superior Court. After years of litigation in which the California Bail Agents Association intervened to defend the state law, U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that the pre-arraignment bail system was unconstitutional. The question that remained was what to do next. Hennessy and Herrera vigorously pursued a solution to ensure that pre-arraignment defendants who are eligible for pre-arraignment release can be more quickly considered for release by the Superior Court.
“One system of justice for the rich and another for everyone else isn’t justice at all,” Herrera said. [Read more]
City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker filed separate lawsuits on behalf of their respective cities against the top five oil and gas companies, asking the courts to hold them responsible for the costs of the infrastructure necessary to protect their cities from the consequences of climate change caused by their massive production of fossil fuels.
On January 31, 2017 City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his administration for his executive order directing enforcement action against sanctuary cities and threatening to withhold federal funding from these cities. The suit claims that the order is unconstitutional and exceeds the president’s power.
Five online suppliers that had been flouting both state and San Francisco law by selling illegal large-capacity magazines as “repair kits” to customers in California have agreed to a wide-ranging injunction that compels them to follow the law. The settlement agreement improves safety in California communities and ensures that rogue companies comply with the law.
In efforts to combat the affordable housing crisis in San Francisco, City Attorney Dennis Herrera has taken broad actions ranging from filing lawsuits against unscrupulous landowners like Academy of Art University to cracking down on affordable housing fraudsters.
The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office’s Law School Internship Program is a unique and competitive educational offering that draws applicants from across the nation. Participants are chosen based on their promise to emerge as leaders and difference-makers in government and public-interest law, and they work closely with mentors on a wide range of meaningful cases. But you can’t be accepted if you don’t apply on-time. Applications for the Spring 2020 program must be received by October 18th, 2019.
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Learn why the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office has been honored by the American Bar Association for “outstanding excellence,” and praised as “one of the most aggressive and talented city law departments in the nation” by American Lawyer magazine.