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WAN J. Kim
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

GEORGE S. CARDONA
Acting United States Attorney

JOHN K. TANNER, Chief
SUSANA LORENZO-GIGUERE
Special Litigation Counsel
ALBERTO RUISANCHEZ VERONICA SEUNGWON JUNG
Trial Attorneys
Voting Section
Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. - NWB-7201
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone:  (202) 307-3961
Facsimile:  (202) 305-1291
alberto.ruiscanchez@usdoj.gov

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. CV 07-2437 PA VBKx

                                   Plaintiff,                                   THREE-JUDGE COURT

            v.

CITY OF WALNUT, CALIFORNIA; THE                  COMPLAINT
WALNUT CITY COUNCIL, THE OFFICE OF
THE WALNUT CITY MANAGER; TERESA
DE DIOS, in her official capacity as Walnut
City clerk,

     Defendants.
_____________________________________

        Plaintiff United States of America alleges:

       1.   The Attorney General files this action pursuant to Sections 203 and 204 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1973aa-1a and 1973aa-2, and the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202.

       2.   This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345; 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-2; and 28 U.S.C. § 2201. In accordance with the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-2 and 28 U.S.C. § 2284, the United States'; claim brought under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended ("Section 203"), must be heard and determined by a court of three judges.

       3.   Venue is proper in this court as the events relevant to this action occurred in the City of Walnut, which is located in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

       4.   Defendant CITY OF WALNUT ("Walnut"; or "the City") is a political and geographical subdivision of the County of Los Angeles and the State of California.

       5.   Defendant THE WALNUT CITY COUNCIL is the City's local governing body, pursuant to state law, and is responsible for establishing municipal policies.

       6.   Defendant THE OFFICE OF THE WALNUT CITY MANAGER has responsibilities for the administration of municipal affairs and oversees the daily operations of the City, including directing City staff.

       7.   Defendant TERESA DE DIOS serves as the City Clerk for Walnut. As the City Clerk, she is responsible for the administration of election day activities, including the hiring, assignment and training of poll workers, as well as other aspects of elections and voting procedures in Walnut. Defendant DE DIOS is sued in her official capacity.

       8.   According to the 2000 Census, Walnut City had a total population of 30,004, of whom 8,853 (29.5%) were Chinese and 1,916 (6.4%) were Korean. The Census reported that the City had a total voting age population of 21,723, of whom 6,212 (28.6%) were Chinese and 1,369 (6.3%) were Korean. Of the Chinese voting age residents, 4,056 (65.3%) were limited-English proficient, and of the Korean voting age residents, 853 (62.3%) were limited-English proficient. The Census also reported that the total citizen voting age population of Walnut was 16,922, of whom 3,707 (21.9%) were Chinese and 916 (5.4%) were Korean.

       9.   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 subdivision within the County of Los Angeles, Walnut City 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 Chinese-speaking citizens with limited English proficiency ("Chinese-speaking citizens") who need assistance in the election process in the Chinese language reside in Walnut City. Similarly, significant numbers of Korean-speaking citizens with limited English proficiency ("Korean-speaking citizens") who need assistance in the election process in the Korean language reside in Walnut City.

       10.   As a political subdivision of Los Angeles County, Walnut City has been continuously subject to Section 203's requirements to provide election materials and information in Chinese since September 18, 1992, and in Korean since July 26, 2002. 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 Walnut and Los Angeles County election officials, of their jurisdiction's responsibilities under Section 203, and Los Angeles County separately has provided such information to Walnut City officials.

       11.   Because Walnut City 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 Chinese and in Korean. 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1a(c).

CAUSE OF ACTION

       12.   Defendants have failed to provide Chinese and Korean translations of all election related materials produced in English, including, but not limited to, information about voter registration, polling place locations, dates of elections, and other election related information.

       13.   Defendants have failed to provide effective assistance in Chinese and in Korean to limited-English proficient Chinese American and Korean American voters by failing to recruit, appoint, train, and assign sufficient bilingual poll officials on election day to provide such assistance.

       14.   Defendants have failed to provide certain election related information, including but not limited to information publicizing elections and voter registration information, in a manner that provides limited-English proficient Chinese and Korean citizens an equal and effective opportunity to be informed about election related activities.

       15.   Defendants' failure to provide effective Chinese and Korean language election information and assistance constitutes a violation of Section 203.

       16.   Unless enjoined by this Court, Defendants will continue to violate Section 203 by failing to provide limited-English proficient citizens of Walnut City with Chinese and Korean language election information and assistance necessary for their effective political participation.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

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

  1. Declaring that Defendants have failed to provide Chinese and Korean language election information and assistance necessary to those who require it 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 Chinese or Korean language election information and assistance to persons with limited-English proficiency as required by Section 203, 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1a;

  3. Ordering Defendants to implement a remedial plan to ensure that limited-English proficient Chinese and Korean citizens are able to participate in all phases of the electoral process as required by Section 203, 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1a;

  4. Requiring Defendants to 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, Defendants will provide election related materials and assistance to residents in need of them; and

  5. Authorizing the appointment of federal observers in Walnut City pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1973a(a).

       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.

Dated: __April 12__ , 2007.

ALBERTO R. GONZALEZ
Attorney General

_____/s/_____________
WAN J. KIM
Assistant Attorney General

_____/s/_____________
GEORGE S. CARDONA
Acting United States Attorney

_____/s/_____________
JOHN K. TANNER
Chief

_____/s/_____________
SUSANA LORENZO-GIGUERE
Special Litigation Counsel
ALBERTO RUISANCHEZ (MD Bar)
VERONICA SEUNGWON JUNG (NY Bar # 4098695)
Trial Attorneys
Voting Section
Civil Rights Division -NWB
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave.,N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 305-1291
alberto.ruisanchez@usdoj.gov

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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