University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bradshaw v. McLennan County JC-TX-0021
Docket / Court 08-0246 ( W.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On September 8, 2008, Plaintiffs filed a federal class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against McLennan County, McLennan County Sheriff's Office, and others in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco Division.

The named plaintiffs were each arrested for ... read more >
On September 8, 2008, Plaintiffs filed a federal class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against McLennan County, McLennan County Sheriff's Office, and others in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco Division.

The named plaintiffs were each arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. In each case, the arresting officer took the plaintiff to the McLennan County jail where he was subjected to a visual body cavity search. Plaintiffs allege that the strip searches were performed prior to any appearance before a judge and without individualized reasonable suspicion that either plaintiff was concealing weapons or contraband.

Plaintiffs allege that the McLennan County Sheriff's Deputies routinely follow a policy of strip searching pre-arraignment detainees without having an individualized reasonable suspicion that such a search would be productive of weapons or contraband.

Plaintiffs seek monetary damages and declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, Plaintiffs claim damages for "distress, anguish, suffering, humiliation, deprivation of constitutional rights, and other incidental, consequential, and special damages" all arising from the strip search that each defendant endured. Plaintiffs also allege that the defendants acted in a "malicious, reckless, wanton, oppressive, and/or fraudulent" way that justifies an award of punitive damages. Plaintiffs additionally ask the Court to enjoin Defendants from strip searching persons arrested for non-violent, non-drug related crimes.

On May 19, 2009, in a 17-page ruling, the U.S. District Court (Judge Walter S. Smith Jr.) ordered that Plaintiff's claims against "the McLennan County Sheriff's Department" and against "Sheriff Larry Lynch in his Official Capacity" be dismissed. However, the Court denied Defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to allege a constitutional violation. Taking as true all of Plaintiffs' allegations, the Court held that Plaintiffs alleged a constitutional violation but lacked standing to pursue injunctive relief, because any threat of future harm to the named Plaintiffs is based on a hypothetical situation where they again violate the law.

After the ruling on Defendants' motions to dismiss, Plaintiffs sought class certification. On October 30, 2009, Judge Smith Jr. denied the motion.

On January 19, 2010, the parties filed a joint motion to withdraw and pursue non-binding mediation through the Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") program. The parties reached a settlement whose terms are not available at the time of this writing.

On May 11, 2010, pursuant to the Stipulation of Dismissal filed by the parties, the Court (Judge Smith Jr.) dismissed the case with prejudice.

Xin Chen - 04/08/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
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) McLennan County, Texas
Plaintiff Description plaintiffs and all those similarly situated, who were subject to strip and/or visual body cavity searches at a McLennan County Jail, prior to being arraigned and/or without the Defendants first having a reasonable suspicion of contraband or weapons.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
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)
6:08-cv-00246-WSS-JCM (W.D. Tex.) 05/11/2010
JC-TX-0021-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Damages 09/08/2008
JC-TX-0021-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint 11/24/2008
JC-TX-0021-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 05/19/2009 (W.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0021-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification and Memorandum 06/25/2009
JC-TX-0021-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order (denying class certification) 10/30/2009 (W.D. Tex.)
JC-TX-0021-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation for Dismissal With Prejudice 05/07/2010
JC-TX-0021-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Manske, Jeffrey C. (W.D. Tex.) [Magistrate]
JC-TX-0021-9000
Smith, Walter Scott Jr. (W.D. Tex.) [Magistrate]
JC-TX-0021-0003 | JC-TX-0021-0006 | JC-TX-0021-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Harrington, James C (Texas)
JC-TX-0021-0002 | JC-TX-0021-0004 | JC-TX-0021-0005 | JC-TX-0021-0007 | JC-TX-0021-9000
Kaizuka, Joshua (California)
JC-TX-0021-0002 | JC-TX-0021-0004 | JC-TX-0021-0005 | JC-TX-0021-9000
Krause, Wayne Nicholas (Texas)
JC-TX-0021-0002 | JC-TX-0021-0004 | JC-TX-0021-0005 | JC-TX-0021-9000
Medlock, Scott Charles (Texas)
JC-TX-0021-0002 | JC-TX-0021-0004 | JC-TX-0021-0005 | JC-TX-0021-9000
Merin, Mark E. (California)
JC-TX-0021-0002 | JC-TX-0021-0004 | JC-TX-0021-0005 | JC-TX-0021-0007 | JC-TX-0021-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, Robert Scott (Texas)
JC-TX-0021-9000
Dixon, Michael W (Texas)
JC-TX-0021-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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