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Case Name Harman v. Ahern JC-CA-0124
Docket / Court No. 3:14-cv-03051-MEJ-KAW ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On July 4, 2014, several women who claimed they were unjustifiably forced to take pregnancy tests filled this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department under 42 U.S.C § 1983 and state law. The ... read more >
On July 4, 2014, several women who claimed they were unjustifiably forced to take pregnancy tests filled this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department under 42 U.S.C § 1983 and state law. The plaintiffs, represented by both private counsel and the ACLU asked the court for injunctive relief. Specifically, the plaintiffs asked the court to eradicate the requirement that all female arrestees take a pregnancy test regardless of consent, a declaration stating that the defendant’s actions were in violation of the Fourth Amendment, nominal damages and payment of attorneys’ fees.

The plaintiffs' alleged that on separate occasions, they were arrested by the Alameda county police and taken to either the Glen E. Dyer Detention Facility of Santa Rita County Jail. Upon arrival at these facilities all three plaintiffs claim that they were ordered to take a pregnancy test, however, the results of these pregnancy tests were not disclosed. One plaintiff was above the age requirement for facilitating pregnancy tests stated within the General Health Services Policy & Procedure of the Santa Rita Jail and Glen E. Dyer Detention Facility. Plaintiffs claim that the pregnancy tests were emotionally degrading as well as an invasion of their privacy

On October 14, 2014, Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James denied the defendants motion to remand the case back to state court. After several case management conferences, the plaintiffs requested to amend their complaint and resubmit to the court. On April 28, 2015, the plaintiffs filed their first amended complaint requesting nominal damages.

On May 8, 2015, during a settlement conference held in front of Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westomore, the case was settled in principle and a partial settlement was put on record. By September 3, 2015 both parties submitted a joint status report explaining their near- final settlement agreement. The settlement was placed on hiatus until the defendant could provide the plaintiffs with a representative from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office that had decision making authority to come discuss the concerns of the plaintiffs. The final settlement was reported in the second joint status report submitted on November 04, 2015. The Alameda County Sheriff’s office agreed to provide injunctive relief, implement new and revised policies described in the revised inmate handbook, nominal damages and attorneys fees. Plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the case.

On May 5, 2016, Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James ordered for voluntary dismissal. The case is closed.

Kimberly Goshey - 09/29/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Informed consent/involuntary medication
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) Alameda County Sheriff's Department
Plaintiff Description Several women who claimed they were unjustifiably forced to take pregnancy tests while detained at the Alameda County Jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2016
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 ]

Docket(s)
3:14-cv-03051-MEJ (N.D. Cal.) 05/05/2016
JC-CA-0124-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief Under Cal. Const. Art. I §§ 1, 13, U.S. Const. Amd. 4, and 15 C.C.R §1214 07/03/2014
JC-CA-0124-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 04/28/2015
JC-CA-0124-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report 09/03/2015
JC-CA-0124-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report 11/04/2015
JC-CA-0124-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation Order for Voluntary Dismissal 05/05/2016 (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0124-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges James, Maria-Elena (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0124-0004 | JC-CA-0124-9000
Westmore, Kandis Arianne Court not on record
JC-CA-0124-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers England, Christine Gealy (California)
JC-CA-0124-0001 | JC-CA-0124-9000
Gill, Elizabeth O. (California)
JC-CA-0124-0001 | JC-CA-0124-0002 | JC-CA-0124-0003 | JC-CA-0124-0004 | JC-CA-0124-9000
Haskett, Christine Saunders (California)
JC-CA-0124-0001 | JC-CA-0124-0002 | JC-CA-0124-0003 | JC-CA-0124-9000
Jacobs, Rebecca Ariel (California)
JC-CA-0124-0002 | JC-CA-0124-0004 | JC-CA-0124-0005 | JC-CA-0124-9000
Risher , Michael Temple (California)
JC-CA-0124-0001 | JC-CA-0124-0002 | JC-CA-0124-0005 | JC-CA-0124-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Grigg, Matthew M (California)
JC-CA-0124-0003 | JC-CA-0124-0004 | JC-CA-0124-0005 | JC-CA-0124-9000
Rockwell, Gregory James (California)
JC-CA-0124-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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