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BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN
Acting Assistant Attorney General

DEBRA WONG YANG, United States Attorney
MICHELE C. MARCHAND
Assistant United States Attorney (#93390)
United States Courthouse
312 North Spring Street, 14th floor
Los Angeles, California 90012
Telephone: (213) 894-2727
Facsimile: (213) 894-7177

JOHN TANNER, Chief
SUSANA LORENZO-GIGUERE, Special Litigation Counsel
AVNER SHAPIRO, Trial Attorney
JOHN "BERT" RUSS, Trial Attorney (#192471)
ALBERTO RUISANCHEZ, Trial Attorney
Voting Section
Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. - NWB-7254
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 305-1840
Facsimile: (202) 307-3961

Counsel for Plaintiff
United States of America

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
WESTERN DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,                                                        No. CV05-5147
                                                                             
                      Plaintiff,                                         
                                                                             
                                          v.                                                                  THREE-JUDGE COURT
                                                                             
CITY OF AZUSA, CALIFORNIA;                                                        COMPLAINT
and VERA MENDOZA, in her                             
official capacity as                                               
Azusa City Clerk,                                                 
                                                                             
Defendants.                                                          
______________________________________



The United States of America, Plaintiff herein, alleges:

  1. The Attorney General files this action pursuant to Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ("Section 203"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a; 42 U.S.C. 1973aa-2; and 28 U.S.C. 2201.

  2. The Court has jurisdiction of this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1345 and 42 U.S.C. 1973aa-2. In accordance with the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 1973aa-2 and 28 U.S.C. 2284, the Section 203 claim must be heard and determined by a court of three judges. The events relevant to this action occurred in the City of Azusa, which is located in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

  3. Defendant THE CITY OF AZUSA ("Azusa" or "the City") is a political and geographical subdivision of the County of Los Angeles and the State of California.

  4. Defendant VERA MENDOZA is Azusa's City Clerk. In this capacity, Defendant MENDOZA has responsibilities concerning the administration of voting and elections in Azusa. Defendant MENDOZA is sued in her official capacity.

  5. The 2000 Census reported that the City of Azusa had a total population of 44,712, of whom 28,522 were Hispanic (63.8%). The City had a total voting age population ("VAP") of 30,667, of whom 17,981 (58.6%) were Hispanic. The total citizen voting age population ("CVAP") for the City was 21,667, of whom 10,144 (46.8%) were Hispanic.

  6. The Census Bureau has designated the County of Los Angeles as subject to the requirements of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act for Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. See 42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a(b)(2); see also 67 Fed. Reg. 48,871 (July 26, 2002). As a political unit within the County of Los Angeles, the City of Azusa is also subject to the requirements of Section 203 for these languages. See 28 C.F.R. 55.9. The coverage determination of the Census Bureau is final and non-reviewable. See 42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a(b)(4). Significant numbers of Spanish-speaking citizens with limited English proficiency ("Spanish-speaking citizens") who need assistance in the election process in the Spanish language reside in the City.

  7. As a political subdivision of Los Angeles County, Azusa has been continuously subject to Section 203's requirements to provide election materials and information in Spanish since September 18, 1992. See 57 Fed. Reg. 43,213 (Sept. 18, 1992); 67 Fed. Reg. 48,871 (July 26, 2002). The United States Department of Justice has directly notified election officials, including Azusa and Los Angeles County election officials, of their jurisdictions' responsibilities under Section 203, and Los Angeles County separately has provided such information to City of Azusa officials.

  8. Because Azusa is subject to the requirements of Section 203, "any registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, or other materials or information relating to the electoral process, including ballots" that Defendants provide in English must also be furnished in Spanish, for its Spanish-speaking citizens. 42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a(c).

    CAUSE OF ACTION

  9. In conducting elections in Azusa, Defendants have failed to provide notices, forms, instructions, and other materials and information relating to the electoral process, by: failing to translate fully into Spanish written election-day materials and information, including but not limited to the official ballot, certain voting instructions, forms for voters with disabilities, signs identifying a polling place's location, absentee ballot forms, signs indicating the hours that polling places are open, and various documents relating to voting by provisional ballot.

  10. Defendants' failure to provide Spanish language election information to Spanish-speaking citizens, as described above, constitutes a violation of Section 203./P>
  11. Unless enjoined by this Court, Defendants will continue to violate Section 203 by failing to provide Azusa's Spanish-speaking citizens with the Spanish language election information necessary for their political participation.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff the United States of America prays that this Court enter an order:

(1) Declaring that Defendants have failed to provide Spanish language election information to Spanish-speaking citizens in violation of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a;

(2) Enjoining Defendants, their employees, agents, and successors in office, and all persons acting in concert with them, from failing to provide Spanish language election information to Spanish-speaking citizens as required by Section 203, 42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a;

(3) Requiring Defendants to devise and implement a remedial plan to ensure that Spanish-speaking citizens are able to participate in all phases of the electoral process as required by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a;

4) Requiring Defendants to devise and implement a remedial plan to ensure that, in the event that the need for materials and assistance arises in other languages subject to the requirements of Section 203, the City will provide election-related information and materials to residents needing such assistance.

(5) Requiring Defendants to publicize the remedial plan and programs addressing violations of Section 203 in such a manner as to ensure its widespread dissemination to Azusa's voters; and

(6) Authorizing the appointment of federal examiners for elections held in Azusa pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973a(a), through August 6, 2007.

Plaintiff further prays that this Court order such additional relief as the interests of justice may require, together with the costs and disbursements in maintaining this action.



Date: _14th__ day of _July__, 2005

ALBERTO GONZALES
Attorney General

___________/s/______________________
BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

__________/s/_______________________
DEBRA WONG YANG
United States Attorney

_________/s/________________________
JOHN TANNER
Chief, Voting Section

________/s/_________________________
SUSANA LORENZO-GIGUERE
Special Litigation Counsel
AVNER SHAPIRO
JOHN "BERT" RUSS
ALBERTO RUISANCHEZ
Trial Attorneys, Voting Section
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
NWB-7254
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 305-1840

General Information Voting Section
Contact
Toll-free - (800) 253-3931
Telephone - (202) 307-2767
Fax - (202) 307-3961
Email - voting.section@usdoj.gov

By letter to the addresses below:

Mailing Contact
United States Postal Service mail (including certified mail and express mail) should be addressed to:

Voting Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Room 7254 - NWB
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20530

Deliveries by overnight express service (such as Airborne, DHL, Federal Express or UPS) should be addressed to:

Voting Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Room 7254 - NWB
1800 G St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
Redistricting Census Information
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