CITY OF LOS ANGELES v. LYONS
Annotate this Case
449 U.S. 934 (1980)
U.S. Supreme Court
CITY OF LOS ANGELES v. LYONS , 449 U.S. 934 (1980)
449 U.S. 934
CITY OF LOS ANGELES
Supreme Court of the United States
October 20, 1980
On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The motion of respondent for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.
The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.
Justice WHITE, with whom Justice POWELL and Justice REHNQUIST join, dissenting.
Respondent in this case seeks injunctive and declaratory relief under 42 U.S.C. 1983 to restrain an alleged practice of the Los Angeles Police Department. Because I believe
that respondent's standing to seek this relief is open to serious question in the light of O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488d 674 (1974), and Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362 (1976), I dissent from the denial of certiorari.
In February 1977, respondent filed a seven-count complaint against the city of Los Angeles and four of its police officers. Respondent alleged that the four officers stopped his car for a minor traffic violation and that, without any provocation or reason to fear for their safety, they applied strangleholds around his neck, rendering him unconscious. He further alleged that the use of strangleholds in such non- life-threatening situations was a policy of the police department. Respondent sought damages, and injunctive and declaratory relief, claiming that the use of strangleholds in non-life-threatening situations violates the First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
The only issue before this Court is whether in seeking injunctive and declaratory relief respondent has stated a case or controversy within the jurisdiction of the federal courts. The Court of Appeals, reversing the District Court, held that respondent did have standing. The Court of Appeals distinguished this case from O'Shea v. Littleton, supra, and Rizzo v. Goode, supra, on two grounds: First, there was a greater likelihood in this case that respondent would be subjected at some future date to the alleged illegal conduct; second, respondent did not seek "structural relief" requiring the federal courts to supervise the conduct of state officials, but only an injunction against the use of an established police practice. [Footnote 1] [449 U.S. 934 , 936]