Del Campo v. American Corrective Counseling Services, Inc.
- District Court Order (06/07/2010)
- Ninth Circuit Opinion (02/06/2008)
- Ninth Circuit Brief for Appellees (08/06/2007)
- Opposition to Motion to Dismiss Based on Eleventh Amendment Immunity (06/19/2006)
- Opposition to Motion to Dismiss Due Process Claims (06/19/2006)
- Opposition to Motion to Dismiss Based on Abstention (04/24/2006)
- Motion for Leave to File Consolidated Complaint (03/02/2006)
- Consolidated Complaint (03/01/2006)
Public Citizen serves as co-counsel in this California-wide class action. The case challenges arrangements under which local prosecutors rent their name and authority to private debt collectors, who use false threats of prosecution to coerce people who have written bad checks to pay various fees. The fees are then split between the debt collectors and the prosecutors. The case includes claims under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Due Process Clause. We are litigating similar cases, in cooperation with private co-counsel, in Indiana and Florida.
Public Citizen took primary responsibility for litigating the constitutional claims and for responding to a series of novel defenses raised by the debt collectors—including abstention doctrines and state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. The company appealed the sovereign immunity defense to the Ninth Circuit and we secured an important appellate victory holding that private contractors cannot claim sovereign immunity.