The U.S. Department of Justice cannot force local police departments to cooperate with immigration agents as a condition for receiving federal funding for a law enforcement program, a judge in Los Angeles ruled this week.

The permanent, nationwide ban against the funding rules delivered an unambiguous victory to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer in the legal battle he opened last year with U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Feuer filed a lawsuit in federal court in September, claiming Sessions had overreached his authority and crossed constitutional lines when the Justice Department changed the terms for the Community Oriented Policing Services program.

"This is a complete victory," Feuer said at a news event Thursday, flanked by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. "This is yet another dagger in the heart of the administration's efforts to use federal funds as a weapon to make local jurisdictions complicit in its civil immigration enforcement policies."