University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Amador v. Baca JC-CA-0110
Docket / Court 2:10-cv-1649 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Attorney Organization Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt
Case Summary
On March 5, 2010, two former female inmates who were imprisoned in the Century Regional Detention Facility ("CRDF"), a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department ("LASD") facility, filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Represented by a civil ... read more >
On March 5, 2010, two former female inmates who were imprisoned in the Century Regional Detention Facility ("CRDF"), a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department ("LASD") facility, filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Represented by a civil rights law firm, the plaintiffs sued the LASD under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs alleged violations of their Fourth, Eight, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as their equivalents under the California Constitution. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that CRDF female inmates were routinely subjected to degrading strip and body cavity searches at the CRDF without probable cause or individualized suspicion.

On October 22, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify class. On February 28, 2011, the LASD moved to dismiss this suit, claiming that the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their claims as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"). The complaint was amended on January 28, 2011, to add five additional former and current CRDF inmates as named plaintiffs. However, on December 27, 2011, District Judge Stephen V. Wilson moved this case to the inactive calendar, pending the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, 132 S.Ct. 1510 (2012), another case involving strip searches which Judge Wilson believed could affect the viability of relevant precedent (JC-NJ-0022 in this Clearinghouse)

On December 19, 2012, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Florence, Judge Wilson issued an order moving this case back to the active calendar. In addition, Judge Wilson denied the defendant's motion to dismiss, finding that the LASD did not demonstrate sufficient grievance procedures as required by the PLRA. Judge Wilson also determined that the court would rule on the plaintiffs' motion to certify class after the defendants filed their motion for summary judgment. However, on January 9, 2013, after the plaintiffs requested the court reconsider its decision to defer ruling on the pending motion to certify class, Judge Wilson issued a new order allowing the plaintiffs to re-file their motion to certify class in light of evidence gathered during discovery.

On June 10, 2013, the plaintiffs re-filed their motion to certify class. On March 12, 2014, Judge Wilson granted the plaintiff's request for class certification under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2), but denied their request for class certification under Rule 23(b)(3). The court also allowed the plaintiffs to file a renewed motion to certify a damages class on the issue on liability pursuant to Rule 23(c)(4).

On May 19, 2014, the plaintiffs filed a renewed motion to certify class, requesting that the court certify a Rule 23(c)(4) liability class. In addition, the plaintiffs requested that the court reconsider its denial of the plaintiffs' request for Rule 23(b)(3) class certification. As an alternative to this Rule 23(b)(3) reconsideration, the plaintiffs requested that the court certify subclasses under Rule 23(c)(4) on the basis of differing conditions of abuse, privacy, sanitation, and weather during the alleged illegal strip searches. On December 18, 2014, Judge Wilson issued an order granting a Rule 23(c)(4) an issue class for the purpose of liability, as well as subclass certification for weather. However, the court denied the plaintiffs' request for Rule 23(b)(3) class certification and all other subclass certifications.

This case is still ongoing in the U.S. District Court.

John He - 10/04/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Bathing and hygiene
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Excessive force
Grievance Procedures
Sanitation / living conditions
Search policies
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Plaintiff Description Former female inmates who were imprisoned in the Century Regional Detention Facility, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department facility.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing JC-NJ-0022 : Florence v. County of Burlington (D.N.J.)
JC-CA-0007 : Bull v. City and County of San Francisco (N.D. Cal.)
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)
10-1649 (C.D. Cal.) 09/02/2015
JC-CA-0110-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief 03/05/2010
JC-CA-0110-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Class Action Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief 01/28/2011
JC-CA-0110-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
In Chambers Order Re: Motion to Dismiss 12/19/2012 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0110-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
In Chambers Order Re: Motion to Compel and Motion for Class Certification 01/09/2013 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0110-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Re: Motion for Class Certification 03/12/2014 (299 F.R.D. 618) (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0110-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Class Certification 12/18/2014 (2014 WL 10044904) (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0110-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Wilson, Stephen Victor (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0110-0003 | JC-CA-0110-0004 | JC-CA-0110-0005 | JC-CA-0110-0006 | JC-CA-0110-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Anderson-Barker, Cynthia M. (California)
JC-CA-0110-0001 | JC-CA-0110-0002 | JC-CA-0110-9000
Battles, Lindsay B. (California)
JC-CA-0110-9000
Cook, Donald W. (California)
JC-CA-0110-0001 | JC-CA-0110-0002 | JC-CA-0110-9000
Estuar, Paul J. (California)
JC-CA-0110-0001 | JC-CA-0110-0002 | JC-CA-0110-9000
Flynn, Colleen (California)
JC-CA-0110-9000
Litt, Barrett S. (California)
JC-CA-0110-0001 | JC-CA-0110-0002 | JC-CA-0110-9000
Mann, Robert Frederick (California)
JC-CA-0110-0001 | JC-CA-0110-0002 | JC-CA-0110-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beach, Paul B (California)
JC-CA-0110-9000
Choi, Jin S (California)
JC-CA-0110-9000
Clark, Justin W. (California)
JC-CA-0110-9000
Lawrence, David D. (California)
JC-CA-0110-9000
Lee, Daniel (California)
JC-CA-0110-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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