University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bame v. Clark JC-DC-0006
Docket / Court 1:05-cv-01833 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On September 15, 2005, plaintiffs brought a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the United States Marshals on behalf of hundreds of men who had been arrested during several protests against the International Monetary Fund. Following their arrests, ... read more >
On September 15, 2005, plaintiffs brought a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the United States Marshals on behalf of hundreds of men who had been arrested during several protests against the International Monetary Fund. Following their arrests, plaintiffs were transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshall and then detained in holding cells at the D.C. Superior Courthouse. Plaintiffs alleged that, while in custody, they were subjected to unlawful strip searches which had been conducted by deputy U.S. Marshals in the absence of any individualized reasonable suspicion. Plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the George Washington University Law School and the People's Law Resource Center, alleged that such searches violated their Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. Plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages and class certification.

On April 19, 2006, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the suit. The District Court granted the motion in part and denied it in part, dismissing the claims raised against two former U.S. Marshals who were sued in their official capacity, but refusing to dismiss the claims raised against Marshal Dillard in his individual capacity. Specifically, the Court held that (1) Plaintiffs' Bivens claims were timely; (2) Plaintiffs sufficiently alleged that Marshal Dillard was a state actor; (3) Marshal Dillard was not entitled to qualified immunity at the motion to dismiss phase; and (4) Plaintiffs adequately stated a claim under the Fourth Amendment. Bame v. Clark, 466 F.Supp.2d 105 (D.D.C. Dec 11, 2006).

Marshal Dillard initially filed a notice of appeal but subsequently moved to dismiss the appeal. The appeal was dismissed by the District Court on June 11, 2007. Bame v. Dillard, 2007 WL 1760490 (D.C.Cir. Jun 11, 2007).

On May 22, 2008, Judge Rosemary M. Collyer granted class certification. Bame v. Clark, 2008 WL 2168393 (D.C.Cir. May 22, 2008).

On August 25, 2009, Judge Collyer denied the defendant's and the plaintiff's motions for summary judgment. Bame v. Dillard, 647 F.Supp.2d 43 (D.C. Cir. 2009). The defendant appealed.

On March 25, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Judge dismissed the case, holding that it was not clearly established in 2002 that the strip search of a person being introduced into a detention facility violated the Fourth Amendment, and that therefore, the defendant was entitled to qualified immunity and to summary judgment. Bame v. Clark, 637 F.3d 380 (D.D.C. 2011).

Dan Dalton - 01/22/2008
Jessica Kincaid - 03/02/2014

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Search policies
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action Bivens
42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) United States Marshal's Service
Plaintiff Description All men arrested on 9/27/02 by DC police during mass protests in downtown DC, subjected by US Marshals to a strip, visual, body cavity seach without reasonable suspicion of contraband. Excludes men arrested at Pershing Park on 9/27/02.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing JC-DC-0007 : Johnson v. District of Columbia (D.D.C.)
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
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

1:05-cv-01833-RMC (D.D.C.) 06/11/2007
JC-DC-0006-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Compensatory and Punitive Damages 09/15/2005
JC-DC-0006-0001 PDF | Detail
First Amended Class Action Complaint 10/28/2005
JC-DC-0006-0005 PDF | Detail
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification 02/08/2006
JC-DC-0006-0002 PDF | Detail
Motion to Dismiss or, In The Alternative, for Summary Judgment 04/19/2006
JC-DC-0006-0003 PDF | Detail
Plaintiffs' Reply Memorandum In Support of Motion for Class Certification 04/21/2006
JC-DC-0006-0004 PDF | Detail
Order [Re: Motion to Dismiss] 12/11/2006 (466 F.Supp.2d 105) (D.D.C.)
JC-DC-0006-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order [Re: Motion to Dismiss] 06/11/2007 (2007 WL 1760490 / 2007 U.S.App.LEXIS 13929)
JC-DC-0006-0010 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum Opinion [Granting Motion for Class Certification] 05/22/2008 (2008 WL 2168393) (D.D.C.)
JC-DC-0006-0008 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Opinion [Denying Motions for Summary Judgment] 08/25/2009 (647 F.Supp.2d 43) (D.D.C.)
JC-DC-0006-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion (dismissing case) 03/25/2011 (637 F.3d 380)
JC-DC-0006-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Judges Collyer, Rosemary M. (FISC, D.D.C.)
JC-DC-0006-0007 | JC-DC-0006-0008 | JC-DC-0006-0009 | JC-DC-0006-9000
Ginsburg, Douglas Howard (D.C. Circuit)
Rogers, Judith Ann Wilson (D.C. Circuit)
Williams, Stephen Fain (D.C. Circuit)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cunningham, Lynn E. (Wyoming)
JC-DC-0006-0001 | JC-DC-0006-0002 | JC-DC-0006-0004 | JC-DC-0006-0005 | JC-DC-0006-0010 | JC-DC-0006-9000
Wolfe, Zachary J. (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0006-0001 | JC-DC-0006-0002 | JC-DC-0006-0004 | JC-DC-0006-0005 | JC-DC-0006-0010 | JC-DC-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Contreras, Rudolph (District of Columbia)
Lawrence, R. Craig (District of Columbia)
Nebeker, William Mark (District of Columbia)
JC-DC-0006-0003 | JC-DC-0006-0010 | JC-DC-0006-9000
Wainstein, Kenneth L. (District of Columbia)
Other Lawyers None on record

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