Federal Judge Approves Appointment of Compliance Director in Lieu of Court Receiver, Oakland California
In the receivership field, not many case have captured our attention like the case of Delphine Allen et al. v. City of Oakland in Oakland California. In that case, Federal Judge the Honorable Thelton Henderson was tasked with determining if the Oakland Police Department should be placed under receivership and under the control of a court appointed court receiver.
Known as the Riders Case or Riders Scandal, Delphine Allen et al. v. City of Oakland is a civil rights lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in December 2000. The case made by the Plaintiff alleges that the Oakland Police Department’s four veteran officers, known as the “Riders”, allegedly kidnapped, planted evidence, and beat citizens.
In 2003, a settlement was entered into by the parties. In addition to a monetary payout, the Oakland Police Department was required to comply with a series of reforms. The types of reforms, in a case like this, are those that are traditionally enforced by a court-appointed court receiver.
The outcome of this case is significant in that instead of appointing a court receiver to oversee the enforcement of the judgment, the proposed Order uses the term “Compliance Director” as the key appointment to the case. The compliance director, while not technically a court-appointed court receiver, will be working on the court appointment on a full-time basis and will have a wide-spread range of responsibilities related to and power over ensuring the compliance of the CIty of Oakland with the NSA.
in March of 2013, Judge Henderson named Thomas C. Frazier as the new compliance director of the Oakland Police Department. Mr. Frazier is the former police commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department.
As the new compliance director, Mr. Frazier will be responsible for making sure that the final eleven reforms set forth as a result of the 2000 “Riders” lawsuit are enforced. According to court documents, Mr. Frazier will be working in Oakland for at least one year.
Oakland’s Court Appointed Court Receiver or Court Appointed Compliance Director
How does a compliance director differ from a court receiver? By definition, a compliance director assists with the development and implementation of company ethics programs. They may also ensure that processes and policies are in place to ensure compliance with applicable State and Federal laws. Other areas of business focus under the jurisdiction of a compliance director might include the compliance auditing and monitoring of other business activities.
With authority that includes the power to remove the police chief or demote deputy and assistant chiefs, the compliance director will function in every way as a federal court receiver. For all intents and purposes, Mr. Frazier will be administering as a court receiver, but with a very different and more acceptable title. The title, it seems is the only paramount difference.
Let’s take a look at the duties and responsibilities of a court-appointed court receiver.
A court-appointed court receiver, like the name implies, is appointed by a judge to carry out the orders set forth by the court. The court receivership is carried out with judicial authority and is limited by the court order.
Court receivers work within the law to achieve the goals set forth by the presiding judge and his court. Court receivers carry out the court order as given to the by the presiding judge.
Receivership Specialists: Experienced Court-Appointed Court Receivers
When one takes the time to understands the function of a court receiver, one realizes that having an experienced court receiver appointed to carry out the orders of a court is not only a good idea, it’s a viable solution and, oftentimes, the only reasonable course of action.
Since their use as equitable remedy solutions in the English Chancery courts, court receivers have been appointed by the courts to protect real property. Court-appointed court receivers have been a sought after solution for hundreds of years.
Why then the hesitation to appoint a court receiver in the case of Delphine Allen et al. v. City of Oakland? If the presiding judge, in this case appointed a court receiver rather than a compliance director over the case, would there have been a backlash concerning the decision?
Whether the appointment is made for a court receiver or a compliance director, the goal of the court is the same: A qualified individual with the expertise and experience necessary to carry out the orders of the court order.