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Case Name John Does 1-100 v. Ninneman JC-MN-0004
Docket / Court 3-84-573 ( D. Minn. )
State/Territory Minnesota
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
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 ... read more >
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


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
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) Chisago County
Chisago County Sheriff's Department
Plaintiff Description Two male pre-trial detainees (purported to represent a class) who were strip-searched at the Chisago County Jail pursuant to a blanket jail policy
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum and Order 07/08/1985 (612 F.Supp. 1069) (D. Minn.)
JC-MN-0004-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 05/07/1986 (634 F.Supp. 341) (D. Minn.)
JC-MN-0004-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Devitt, Edward James (FISC, D. Minn.)
JC-MN-0004-0001 | JC-MN-0004-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Reed, Barry G. (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0004-0001 | JC-MN-0004-0002
Zimmerman, Charles S. (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0004-0001 | JC-MN-0004-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Marshall, Joseph B. (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0004-0001 | JC-MN-0004-0002
Votel, Terry (Minnesota)
JC-MN-0004-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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