In 1984, two male pre-trial detainees filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, challenging the strip search policy in effect at the Chisago County Jail. The written policy at issue was instituted by the County Sheriff in 1982 and ...
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In 1984, two male pre-trial detainees filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, challenging the strip search policy in effect at the Chisago County Jail. The written policy at issue was instituted by the County Sheriff in 1982 and required that all persons to be housed in the Jail be strip searched for weapons and contraband. Females were not housed in the Jail, so they were not subject to the policy and were only strip searched if they were suspected of harboring drugs or weapons. Plaintiffs maintained that the policy violated the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. They requested monetary damages and class certification.
Following discovery, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment and Plaintiff moved for class certification. On July 8, 1985, the District Court (Judge Edward James Devitt) held that: (1) the policy was unconstitutional and (2) Plaintiffs were entitled to judgment on liability against the County, but (2) the individual defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. John Does 1-100 v. Ninneman, 612 F.Supp. 1069 (D.Minn. 1985).
Defendants then moved to dismiss the case on grounds that the suit was not filed within the statute of limitations. On May 7, 1986, the District Court (Judge Devitt) denied Defendants' motion, holding that it would not retroactively apply the recent United States Supreme Court case, of Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261 (1985), which changed the law governing statutes of limitations in § 1983 civil rights actions. The Court also denied as premature Plaintiffs' request for an award of attorneys' fees, reasoning that Plaintiff's counsel had about 40 similar strip search cases pending and the Court wanted to avoid multiple fee awards for what was possibly repeated work. John Does 1-100 v. Ninneman, 634 F.Supp. 341 (D.Minn. 1986)
There was no PACER docket available and we have no further information on this case.Dan Dalton - 02/17/2008