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