University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Black v. Franklin County, KY JC-KY-0012
Docket / Court 3:05-cv-00018-KKC ( E.D. Ky. )
State/Territory Kentucky
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On March 28, 2005, attorneys from several law firms in Kentucky filed a class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, challenging the strip search policy of the Franklin County Correctional Complex in ... read more >
On March 28, 2005, attorneys from several law firms in Kentucky filed a class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, challenging the strip search policy of the Franklin County Correctional Complex in Kentucky. Plaintiffs, who were females arrested for minor offenses, alleged that they were strip searched pursuant to a blank policy which required all female pretrial detainees entering the Complex to be strip searched, without any reasonable suspicion to believe the detainees were concealing weapons or contraband. Plaintiffs alleged that the policy violated the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and sought monetary damages, injunctive relief and class certification.

Note that this case, Black v. Franklin County, followed a 1997 class action lawsuit styled Wilson v. Franklin County, KY (JC-KY-13), which also challenged the strip search policy of Franklin County Correctional Complex. The Wilson case settled in 1999.

On April 6, 2005, plaintiffs in the Black case filed a motion to certify the case as a class action. Plaintiffs later withdrew the motion pending further discovery, with consent of the defendants, and filed an amended complaint adding 24 new plaintiffs. Defendants then moved to dismiss the case on various grounds, including (1) plaintiffs' claims were barred by the one-year statute of limitations, (2) under the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") for failure to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing suit, (3) individual defendants were entitled to qualified immunity, and (4) failure to state a claim. The District Court (District Judge Joseph M. Hood) granted the motion in part and dismissed the claims of 11 of the Plaintiffs on statute of limitations and PLRA exhaustion grounds. The Court also dismissed the Ninth Amendment and equal protection claims of the remaining 16 plaintiffs, except for plaintiff Black's equal protection claim. Black v. Franklin County, Kentucky, 2005 WL 1993445 (E.D. Ky. Aug 16, 2005).

Discovery ensued. The case was reassigned on January 6, 2006, to District Judge Karen K. Caldwell for all further proceedings. On February 22, 2006, the defendants moved to strike the class action allegations from plaintiffs' amended complaint. Judge Caldwell denied the motion, but set a deadline for filing plaintiffs' motion for class certification. Black v. Franklin County, Ky., 2006 WL 2849863 (E.D. Ky. Sep 28, 2006).

Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on December 29, 2006 and then moved for class certification. Defendants opposed certification and, in turn, moved for summary judgment. Prior to ruling on those motions, the plaintiffs attended a settlement conference on May 22, 2007, with Magistrate Judge J. Gregory Wehrman and settled the case. Judge Caldwell had dismissed several plaintiffs from the case for failing to comply with discovery orders. The remaining plaintiffs and the defendants, who settled, filed an agreed order of dismissal which was approved on August 20, 2007. The parties agreed to pay their own costs and attorney fees. Further details of the settlement were not disclosed.

Dan Dalton - 03/01/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Search policies
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Franklin County, KY
Frankling County Correctional Complex
Plaintiff Description Women strip-searched by officers at the Franklin County Correctional Center after having been arrested for minor offenses.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing JC-KY-0013 : Wilson v. Franklin County, KY (E.D. Ky.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:05-cv-00018-KKC (E.D. Ky.) 08/20/2007
JC-KY-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 03/28/2005
JC-KY-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint 05/09/2005
JC-KY-0012-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Re: Motions to Dismiss] 08/16/2005 (2005 WL 1993445 / 2005 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 26362) (E.D. Ky.)
JC-KY-0012-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum Order 09/08/2006 (E.D. Ky.)
JC-KY-0012-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 09/28/2006 (2006 WL 2849863 / 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 73554) (E.D. Ky.)
JC-KY-0012-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint 12/29/2006
JC-KY-0012-0003.pdf | Detail
Memorandum Order [Re: Motion to Strike] 12/29/2006 (E.D. Ky.)
JC-KY-0012-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report & Recommendation 03/26/2007
JC-KY-0012-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Dismissing Plaintiffs' Claims for Failure to Prosecute] 06/11/2007 (E.D. Ky.)
JC-KY-0012-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreed Order of Dismissal 08/20/2007 (E.D. Ky.)
JC-KY-0012-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Caldwell, Karen K. (E.D. Ky.)
JC-KY-0012-0007 | JC-KY-0012-0008 | JC-KY-0012-0010 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Hood, Joseph Martin (E.D. Ky.) [Magistrate]
JC-KY-0012-0009
Wehrman, J. Gregory (E.D. Ky.) [Magistrate]
JC-KY-0012-0004 | JC-KY-0012-0005 | JC-KY-0012-0006 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Charles C. Jr. (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0010 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Brannon, Marie K. (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0001 | JC-KY-0012-0002 | JC-KY-0012-0009 | JC-KY-0012-0010 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Hellard, S. Marie (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0001 | JC-KY-0012-0002 | JC-KY-0012-0003 | JC-KY-0012-0010 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Herren, Thomas K. (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0003 | JC-KY-0012-0008 | JC-KY-0012-0010 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Jones, Thomas M. (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0001 | JC-KY-0012-0002 | JC-KY-0012-0009 | JC-KY-0012-0010 | JC-KY-0012-9000
McDaniel, Rodney (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0001 | JC-KY-0012-0009 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Boyd, James E. (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0009 | JC-KY-0012-0010 | JC-KY-0012-9000
DeSimone, Andrew D. (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0008 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Ensslin, Tammy Meade (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-9000
McSwain, Douglas L. (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0002 | JC-KY-0012-0009 | JC-KY-0012-0010 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Meade, Tammy S. (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0002 | JC-KY-0012-0009 | JC-KY-0012-0010 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Sullivan, Richard M. (Kentucky)
JC-KY-0012-0009 | JC-KY-0012-0010 | JC-KY-0012-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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