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File #: 2020-735    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Consent Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 10/15/2020 In control: City Council
On agenda: 10/20/2020 Final action:
Title: CONSIDER APPROVAL OF A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT IN THE MATTER OF SOUTHWEST VOTER REGISTRATION EDUCATION PROJECT, ET AL. V. CITY OF CARSON, LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT CASE NO. 19STCV32291 (CITY COUNCIL)
Attachments: 1. SVREP v Carson - Settlement Agreement
Report to Mayor and City Council
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Consent


SUBJECT:
Title
CONSIDER APPROVAL OF A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT IN THE MATTER OF SOUTHWEST VOTER REGISTRATION EDUCATION PROJECT, ET AL. V. CITY OF CARSON, LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT CASE NO. 19STCV32291 (CITY COUNCIL)

Body
I. SUMMARY

This report concerns settlement of the litigation in the matter of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project v. City of Carson, (LASC Case Number 19STCV32291). The lawsuit alleged the City's at-large voting for City Council elections violated the California Voting Rights Act, Elections Code ?? 14025 et seq. (CVRA), because City Council elections exhibited polarized voting.
The Settlement Agreement and General Release of Claims attached hereto includes the following settlement terms:
* All future elections for the Carson City Council, with the exception of the position of Mayor, shall be single-member district elections.
* The City does not admit a violation of the CVRA.
* The City shall adopt a new district map following the release of 2020 Census data, in accordance with Elections Code ?? 21620 et seq.
* Along with the district map adopted following the 2020 Census, the City shall adopt an election sequencing consistent with the purposes of the CVRA.
* The City shall pay plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs, including expert witness fees -- totaling $488,693 in fees and $71,985 in costs (cost subject to proof) - within 30 days after the Settlement Agreement is signed. It should be noted that the demand for attorneys' fees in order to settle this matter was substantially higher than the settled amount. It should also be noted that the settlement agreement prohibits any sum of the attorneys' fees' to be passed on to the plaintiffs.
* The lawsuit will be dismissed with prejudice within five (5) business days after the City makes payment.



II. RECOMMENDATION
Recommendation

TAKE the following actions:
1. Approve the Settlement Agreement and General Rel...

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