News Coverage

Historic Preliminary Injunction

June 1, 2023 – Eyewitness to History at LA’s Cash Bail Hearings. Karen Ocamb, Medium/Public Justice. “My epiphany comes when (Public Justice attorney) Brian Hardingham questions expert Dr. Christine Scott-Hayward about different studies.”

May 30, 2023 – More arrestees will stay local, or be released, under new zero-bail rules. Matthew Hall, Santa Monica Daily Press.

May 26, 2023 – Los Angeles County returns to $0 bail for non-serious, non-violent crimes. Kate Cagle, Spectrum News 1.Los Angeles County returned to its COVID-era Emergency Bail Schedule Wednesday, after a Superior Court judge ruled its cash bail system unconstitutional. The injunction by Judge Lawrence Riff means cash bail for non-violent, non-serious felonies is now $0.” (story plus 4:36 video)

May 24, 2023 – Zero-bail policy back in effect, LA city and county can no longer jail arrestees before arraignment. ABC7 staff.

May 24, 2023 – Zero-bail policy back in effect for LA County. KCAL News.

May 24, 2023 – Zero-bail policy reinstated for LA County. Gina Silva and FOX 11 Digital Team. “’The current system is not based on whether you’re dangerous, on whether you’re a flight risk, on one, whether there’s really any need at all for you to be in jail. It’s just based on how much money you can pay. That’s not fair. It makes no sense,’ (Civil rights attorney Salil) Dudani said.”

May 24, 2023 – LASD, LAPD Develop New Custody Bail Procedure . RandomLengthsNews.com.

May 24, 2023 – LASD Develops New Custody Bail Procedure. SCVnews.com – service of SCTV/Local Television of Santa Clarita.

May 24 – LASD Develops New Custody Bail Procedure Following Los Angeles County Superior Court Ruling on Bail Schedule. SIB Staff. LASD Statement includes PDF of Third Emergency Bail Schedule.

May. 23, 2023  Texts and mental health services could replace cash bail in LA. Matt Guilhem, KCRW. “It’s the first time a judge in California has held an exhaustive trial on whether secured money bail actually works. What the judge concluded is what people in the field already know: Money bail is bad for public safety,” says Salil Dudani with the nonprofit Civil Rights Corps.

May 19, 2023 – Ending cash-based jailing: a win for the Constitution and public safety. Miriam Aroni Krinsky, Erwin Chemerinsky, and Anthony Kline, LA Daily Journal.

May 18, 2023 – Judge Reinstates ‘Zero Bail’ Policy in Los Angeles. Meg O’Connor, The Appeal. “’Enforcing the secured money bail schedules against poor people who are detained in jail solely for the reason of their poverty is a clear, pervasive, and serious constitutional violation,’ wrote Superior Court Judge Lawrence Riff in the 58-page decision. ‘Evidence shows the preliminary injunction will reduce the incidence of new criminal activity and failures to appear for future court proceedings.’”

May 18 – Injunction limits cash bail in L.A. County — for now. Christian Martinez, LA Times.The injunction does not cover those arrested on suspicion of serious and violent felonies. It will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. May 24 and remain in place for 60 days — during which time the plaintiffs and defendants will develop an alternative program. If the program is approved by the judge, it would take effect on July 17.”

May 18, 2023 – Judge eliminates cash bail for pre-arraignment arrestees. Matthew Hall, Santa Monica Daily Press

May 17, 2023 – Judge halts cash bail for low-level LA County cases. Josh Cain, LA Daily News.

City News Service contributed to this story. (This story was picked up by the Press Telegram, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune via msn.com, and other publications.)

May 17, 2023 – No Cash Bail for Low-Level LA County Cases. Ted Chen, NBC4 News.

May 17, 2023 – Judge’s Preliminary Injunction Prevents Demand for Cash Bail From Some Under Arrest. Jonathan Lloyd, NBCLosAngeles.com and City News Service. “Judge Lawrence Riff gave the parties 60 days to come up with different rules for pretrial detention, but in the meantime people in custody for some offense cannot be required to pay bail before arraignment.”

May 17, 2023 – LA judge grants preliminary injunction blocking cash bail requirement before arraignment. Carlos Granda and ABC7.com staff. 

May 17, 2023 – LA Judge Temporarily Limits Cash Bail Requirement. LAist, AirTalk podcast, host Larry Mantle with LAist civics & democracy reporter Frank Stoltze and Rowley Riceattorney with Munger, Tolles, and Olson, LLP, one of the law firms representing the plaintiffs.

May 17, 2023 – Calif. Judge Halts Some Pre-Arraignment Cash Bail In LA. Gina Kim, Law360. 

May 17, 2023 – Judge’s Preliminary Injunction Prevents Demand for Cash Bail From Some Under Arrest. Jonathan Lloyd, NBCLosAngeles and City News Service (Includes pdf of the court’s ruling).

May 17 – Judge issues preliminary injunction preventing demanding cash bail in LA County. City News Service, also picked up by 2urbangirls.com.

May 17, 2023 – LA Cash Bail Restricted by Judge During Court Challenge. Joe Schneider, Bloomberg News.

May 17 – $0 Bail to Return; LA Judge Rules Cash Bail Inequitable. Courthouse News Service/WestsideCurrent.com.

May 17, 2023 – Judge Issues Preliminary Ruling On Cash Bail Requirements. Mackie Dean, Vigourtimes.com.

May 16, 2023 – Injunction Against Cash Bail Before Arraignment Issued by LA Judge. Nathaniel Wright, BollyInside.com.

May 16, 2023 – Bamby Salcedo: ‘The legal system targets & cages poor people.’ “We need to completely change the way the system is set up because the truth is that the cash bail system impacts everyone.”

May 16, 2023 – In Major Blow To LA County’s Cash Bail System, Judge Issues Injunction Limiting Bail Prior To Arraignment. Frank Stolze, LAist.

May 16, 2023 – Judge blocks the use of pre-arraignment cash bail in LA. Hillel Aron, Courthouse News Service. “The bombshell ruling means that Los Angeles effectively reverts back to its Covid-era policy of ‘zero bail.’”

May 16, 2023 – Los Angeles Superior Court Issues Preliminary Injunction in Money Bail Lawsuit. Public Justice/coalition press release. “While this case is still ongoing, we are pleased with Judge Riff’s ruling, which has an immediate impact on most individuals arrested in Los Angeles County,” said Munger, Tolles & Olson Chair Brad Brian, who, along with Salil Dudani of Civil Rights Corps, argued the motion for the preliminary injunction. “We are confident that LA County bail policies are unconstitutional and look forward to proving that at trial.”

May 7, 2023 – Editorial: Unconscionable abuse and shameful inaction at L.A. County jails. LA Times Editorial Board. “Meanwhile, in a nearby courtroom, in the case of Urquidi vs. City of Los Angeles, criminologists testified that scientific research demonstrates to a 95% degree of certainty that jail is criminogenic, meaning that incarceration makes a person more likely to be arrested for new crimes.”

April 17th, 2023 – Pretrial detention can lead to more crime, psychologist testifies. Antoine Abou-Diwan, Daily Journal. “Pretrial detention ‘is criminogenic. It serves to create the things we are trying to avoid,’ said Michael R. Jones, a clinical psychologist who studied criminal behavior in juveniles and has focused on pretrial justice issues since 2005. Jones was called by the plaintiffs.”

April 14, 2023 – Court hears live testimony in lengthy hearing over pre-arraignment cash bail.The hearing, now well into its third week, shows no sign in letting up. And it may include a surprise witness: LAPD Chief Michael Moore.” Hillel Aron, Courthouse News Service.  

April 14, 2023 – Sheriff can’t pull data to answer judge’s bail questions. Antoine Abou-Diwan, Daily Journal. “The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department does not have a way to assess rearrest rates for people released from custody without paying bail prior to arraignment versus those who paid bail. The sheriff’s sergeant made that revelation on Wednesday during a hearing before Superior Court Judge Lawrence P. Riff, who unsuccessfully sought answers about the effects of the COVID-era-zero-dollar emergency bail schedule (EBS) on public safety.” 

April 6, 2023 – Pretrial Detention Punishes Poor People for Being Unable to Afford Bail.  Alicia Virani and Bahar Mirhosseni, Teen Vogue. “The UCLA School of Law Bail Practicum focuses on the harms of unaffordable cash bail in California.”

April 5, 2023 Judge wants law enforcement to testify on bail challenge. Antoine Abou-Diwan, Daily Journal. “A superior court judge presiding over a challenge to Los Angeles County’s cash bail schedule said on Tuesday that he wants live testimony from law enforcement experts before he rules on a request for a preliminary injunction.”

March 29, 2023 – Judge delays ruling on challenge to LA County Bail scheme. Antoine Abu Diwan, Daily Journal. “The big concern of mine how people arrested….for violent crimes – whether they are in custody or not in custody is a matter of great public concern,” Superior Court Judge Lawrence P. Riff said on Thursday. “I think the state of California needs to be joined for that purpose. I’m telling you what I’m thinking so that I can hear from the state of California what it thinks the public interest is relative to the injunction – preliminary or otherwise – the plaintiffs seek.”

March 28, 2023 – Three inmates died in Los Angeles County jails in just over a week. Keri Blakinger, L.A. Times. Three Los Angeles County inmates died in an nine-day period this month, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a grim milestone that comes even as the county is facing scrutiny in court for using a cash bail system that can keep poor people behind bars.”

March 27, 2023 – Judge asked to dump cash bail system in Los Angeles. Hillel Aron, Courthouse News Service. “A marathon 2 1/2-day hearing had the judge mulling over a preliminary injunction that could have a monumental impact on criminal justice in LA County.”

March 26, 2023 – Editorial: Presumed guilty! The toxic cost of money bail. L.A. Times Editorial Board. L.A.’s brief period of more perfect justice ended last year when the Los Angeles Superior Court rescinded its emergency zero-dollar bail policy... The demand for zero-dollar bail is righteous and should be granted.”

March 12, 2023 – Los Angeles’ bail schedule is unconstitutional and a threat to public safety. Miriam Aroni Krinsky, Erwin Chemerinsky, and Anthony Kline, LA Daily News. “As a former federal prosecutor, a constitutional law scholar and a former judge, we know that this system is not only unconstitutional but also undermines public safety by inflicting vast collateral consequences on individuals, many of whom will ultimately not even be charged with a crime.”

Jan. 16, 2023 – The price of freedom and criminalization of poverty. Civil Rights Corps CEO Dr. Danielle Dupuy-Watson. Los Angeles Blade. “The right to be treated fairly and equitably by institutions that govern this country remains an elusive concept.” –

Dec. 30, 2022 – Op-Ed: In the new year, let’s end the money bail policy that rips families apart. Pastor Gary Williams, clergy plaintiff in Urquidi v. Los Angeles et. al, in the LA Times. “In 2002, while struggling with addiction, I was arrested. The only thing keeping me from being home with my family and continuing to seek the help I needed was money bail. But my family did not have the money to buy my freedom, so I was incarcerated for five months.”

Nov. 29, 2022 – Editorial: California still violates the Constitution on bail. L.A. Times Editorial Board. “The constitutional right to bail is a conditional right to release before trial, and is rendered meaningless if bail is set so high that the defendant can’t pay.”

Nov. 15, 2022 – LA Cash Bail System Challenged as Unconstitutional in Suit. Joe Schneider, Bloomberg.

Nov. 14, 2022 – ‘If I could buy freedom, I would’: LA residents who can’t afford bail sue to change system. Sam Levin, The Guardian. Complaint on behalf of six detained people who have not yet seen a judge targets largest jail system in US.”

Nov. 14, 2022 – Civil Rights Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Los Angeles County’s Bail Schedule Policy. Public Justice/coalition press release on filing of class action lawsuit against the County and City of Los Angeles and the LAPD and LASD.

News coverage prior to the Urquidi vs. City of Los Angeles lawsuit

April 14, 2022 – Newly released Data Depicts Zero-Dollar Bail as a Viable Policy.  Alexandra Malek, KnockLA. “County-commissioned study finds no negative effects on rearrest rates or failures to appear.”

Feb. 28, 2022 – Editorial: ‘Zero bail’ and release from jail are not the same thing. LA Times Editorial Board. Violent crime is up in California and around the nation, and many prosecutors, politicians and police officials place the blame — incorrectly — on so-called ‘zero-bail’ policies and other changes to the traditional money bail system.”

Feb. 13, 2022 – ‘Paying ransom for freedom’: How cash bail is keeping Black mothers stuck in prisons. Randi Richardson. NBC News.

March 26, 2021 – Historic California Supreme Court Bail Ruling Leaves Pretrial Detention Question Unanswered. Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News Service, “The high court ruled courts cannot imprison suspects simply because they cannot afford bail. But it left open the question of when someone should be detained pretrial.”

March 25, 2021 – Bail Cannot Be Imposed Without Considering Ability to Pay, CA High Court Rules. Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News Service. “In a landmark ruling on cash bail, the California Supreme Court ruled that courts cannot keep detainees behind bars just because they cannot afford to post bail.”

March 25, 2023 – California’s top court ends cash bail for some defendants who can’t afford it. Maura Dolan, Courthouse News Service. “For years, California legislators and judges have tried to reform the state’s money bail system to reduce discrimination against the poor. On Thursday, four months after voters rejected such a reform, the California Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to require defendants to remain behind bars simply because they cannot afford bail. In a unanimous decision, the state’s top court told judges to favor pretrial release and consider a person’s ability to pay before setting bail.”

Jan. 5, 2021 – Fight Over Money Bail System Lands at California Supreme Court. Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News Service. “The California Supreme Court opened its 2021 session Tuesday with a long-awaited hearing on cash bail that will set the course for pretrial detention in California for years to come.”

Jan. 5, 2021- District Attorney George Gascón Issues Statement on Money Bail. District Attorney George Gascón is committed to ending money bail in Los Angeles County. On his first day in office, he directed his deputy district attorneys to stop seeking money bail for misdemeanor, non-violent and non-serious felony offenses.” 

Jan. 14, 2021 – Why L.A. County’s District Attorney Has Joined the Movement to End Bail. Horus Alas, US News. “In recent years, major cities and several states have eliminated cash bail programs, arguing that they unfairly penalize those who cannot afford to pay.”

January 27, 2021- California Lawmakers Up Ante Against Money Bail With Pair of Bills. Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News Service. “Undaunted by recent setbacks at the ballot box, California lawmakers introduced two bills Wednesday aimed at reforming the state’s bail system.”

Oct. 20, 2020 – Study Finds People Will Spend Less Time in Jail if California Bans Cash Bail. Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News Service. “More people would be released from jail prior to arraignment if California voters approve a statewide ban on cash bail, but racial disparities in pre-arraignment release rates would still persist, a new study finds.”

Aug. 27, 2020 – California Supreme Court Rules Financial Status Must Be Considered for Bail. Martin Macias Jr., Courthouse News Service. “Trial courts across California may be required to consider a person’s ability to pay when setting bail after the state’s high court late Wednesday bolstered the landmark opinion in a case challenging the constitutionality of the state’s cash bail and pretrial detention system.”

June 16, 2020 – Insha Rahman breaks down how the US bail system perpetuates racial injustice. Maraya Fisher, DocumentJournal.com.

March 24, 2019Text Me: How Messaging Is Helping People Avoid Jail. Law 350: “Programs that provide texted reminders to people about upcoming court dates are spreading across the country.”

March 1, 2019 – Unable to Post Bail? You Will Pay for That for Many Years.  Seema Jayachandran, New York Times.  “Cash bail favors the rich, who can pay it and go home, while poorer people are frequently forced to remain in jail while they await trial. That fact alone helps to explain why cash bail has been eliminated or restricted in California, New Jersey and Arizona, and appears to be on the way out in a number of other places, including New York. But two new studies in economic journals show that inequities in the cash-bail system lead to more long-lasting and pernicious consequences.”

Jan. 3, 2019 – Why fixing the US bail system is tricky. Vox.

Aug. 28, 2018 – California Becomes First State To End Cash Bail After 40-Year Fight. Vanessa Romo, NPR. California will become the first state in the nation to abolish bail for suspects awaiting trial under a sweeping reform bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday.”

Related News Stories

May 3, 2023 – Planned Office Of Diversion And Reentry Expansion Not Enough To Bring LA County Into Compliance With Federal Lawsuits, Says ACLU. Taylor Walker, LAist.com.

March 31, 2023 – Deaths rise as conditions deteriorate inside Men’s Central Jail. Katie Cagle, Spectrum News1. 

March 31, 2023 – A Rise In Suicides in LA Jails Underscores A Troubling Lack Of Mental Health Care. Robert Garrova, LAist.

March 30, 2023 – Activists call for shutdown of Men’s Central Jail in downtown L.A.. Cindy Von Quednow, Kimberly Cheng, KTLA.  Organizers demonstrated near the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Thursday morning demanding that they commit to a timeline to shut down the jail by March 2025.”

March 30, 2023 – Editorial: Why is L.A.’s cruel and deadly jail still open on shutdown date?  LA Times Editorial Board. This is the day Los Angeles County’s dungeon was supposed to close. But Men’s Central Jail appears to be no nearer to shutting down than it was on March 30, 2021, when county officials appointed by the Board of Supervisors presented a two-year timeline to get people out of the dangerous building, now 60 years old, and begin tearing it down.”

March 30, 2023 – Another Year Passes Without The Promised Closure Of ‘Crumbling’ Men’s Central Jail. Robert Garrova, LAist.

Feb. 27, 2023 – ACLU asks judge to hold sheriff and supervisors in contempt over jail conditions. Keri Blakinger, LA Times.

Feb. 27, 2023 – ACLU wants LA County fined over conditions at inmate reception center.  City News Service via Spectrum1News. The American Civil Liberties Union Monday demanded that a federal judge hold Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Robert Luna in contempt of court for ‘failures to comply’ with court orders to address ‘abysmal’ conditions at the jail system’s booking center.”

Sept. 15, 2022 – ACLU and L.A. County agree on changes at jail inmate reception center. City News Service via KNX News. “Representatives of Los Angeles County and the American Civil Liberties Union today agreed on a proposal to quickly address what the civil rights group called “abysmal” conditions at the jail system’s booking center, where mentally ill detainees were said to have been shackled to chairs for days at a time and others were crammed together, sleeping head-to- foot on concrete floors.”

Sept 13, 2022 – L.A. COUNTY’S JAIL BOOKING CENTER HAS BECOME A ‘LIVING HELL,’ DETAINEES SAY IN COURT FILING. Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, The Appeal. “The ACLU is asking the court to order Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and the County of Los Angeles to limit custody at the IRC to no more than 24 hours and to ensure detainees are held in sanitary conditions with access to drinking water, working toilets, and medical care.”

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