2017 in Review: BayLegal’s Litigation Docket

Categories: Litigation, News

Each year, BayLegal’s dedicated team of attorneys and advocates work with tens of thousands of our Bay Area neighbors to build healthier, safer, and more stable lives.

Our advocates fight back when we learn about policies that are pushing families to the edge of homelessness, practices that prevent domestic violence survivors from achieving safety, and other systems that are breaking down and harming low-income families.

Some highlights from our litigation docket in 2017:

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Consumer Protections

A suit against the California DMV for illegally suspending the driver’s licenses of people who could not afford to pay their traffic tickets. Although the litigation is ongoing, the DMV has already agreed to reinstate up to 400,000 driver’s licenses that it had suspended solely because the driver had failed to pay a traffic ticket.

BayLegal and our partners also filed suit and secured a favorable settlement against a court, achieving new court practices that provide at least 33,000 low-income traffic court defendants a fair opportunity to show that they cannot afford traffic fines, and to seek an alternative to immediate payment-in-full.
Learn more.

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Fair & Affordable Housing

An appeal aiming to ensure that state affordable housing law is applicable – and enforceable – in San José and in other charter cities throughout California.
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A successful defense of Richmond’s rent control law, a suit that ensured the continued affordability of a major housing development in San Francisco, and a civil rights complaint against a landlord who threatened a former tenant with deportation just because she is Latina and insisted on the return of the security deposit that was rightfully hers.



Family & Youth Justice

Published appellate decisions that secure the rights of immigrants who are domestic violence survivors to spousal support [Kumar v Kumar], the rights of domestic violence survivors to protection from their abusers, and the rights of foster youth to protections against government intrusion into their therapist-patient communications.

Economic Justice

Suits against welfare agencies that unlawfully reduce or deny aid to homeless people with disabilities; that deny aid to needy immigrants whose sponsors have refused to submit documentation to the agency; and that demand cash payment from families after the agency issued excess food stamps, including cases well beyond the statute of limitations.


Health & Language Access

Suits that succeeded in ensuring that the State translates Medi-Cal notices into all needed languages, and providing Medi-Cal beneficiaries with disabilities access to safe transportation to their medical appointments.

Thanks to our Partners in Litigation & Advocacy

Pro Bono Partners

Crowell & Moring LLP
Kirkland and Ellis LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP
Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw & Pittman, LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Community & Non-Profit Partners

ACLU of Northern California
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles
Centro Legal de La Raza
East Bay Community Law Center
Family Violence Appellate Project
Korean Community Center of the East Bay
Korean Resource Center
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR)
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
National Health Law Program
National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project
Public Advocates, Inc.
Public Interest Law Project
Rubicon Programs
Western Center on Law & Poverty