The plaintiffs say the "shelter has a duty to help, not harm, homeless dogs and cats."
The Animal Legal Defense Fund along with three people from Stockton filed the lawsuit against the City of Stockton.
The suit is not asking for money, only that the animal shelter follow the law.
The shelter is required to hold strays for at least 6 days before euthanization.
But Animal Legal Defense Fund Attorney Jenni James says the shelter's records show a different story over a one year period.
"Early euthansias are happening, 1,500 animals were euthanized before the expiration of the Stockton shelter's minimum holding period," says James.
James says 80 percent of the animals are behind locked doors where the public never sees them.
"Only about 20 percent of the animals are truly being given a meaningful chance of adoption," says James.
The City of Stockton is not commenting on the lawsuit.
The Stockton Arena is one of the host sites for the NCAA’s Division One Women’s Basketball sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds in March.The event will have a huge economic impact on the city.
Michael Tubbs was sworn in as Stockton Mayor Tuesday night. His grandmother administered the oath of office.
Some people usher in the New Year by firing guns into the air, and that means police will be busy looking for such gunfire as the clock nears midnight.
Christmas dinner came in a box complete with a turkey and all the fixings for 1,500 needy families in Stockton today.
This is the 21st year for the annual Turkey Brigade, which along with Food 4 Less has donated more than 10,000 turkeys over two decades.