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Case Name Cazenave v. Foti JC-LA-0022
Docket / Court 2:00-cv-01246-ALC ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On April 25, 2000, three named plaintiffs represented by attorneys from several law firms in Louisiana and Kentucky filed this class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court the Eastern District of Louisiana, challenging the strip and visual body ... read more >
On April 25, 2000, three named plaintiffs represented by attorneys from several law firms in Louisiana and Kentucky filed this class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court the Eastern District of Louisiana, challenging the strip and visual body cavity search policy of the Orleans Parish Jail in Louisiana. The plaintiffs, who were arrested for minor offenses, alleged that they were strip searched pursuant to a blanket policy of the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office. The policy required all pretrial detainees entering the jail to be strip searched, without reasonable suspicion to believe the detainees were concealing weapons or contraband. The plaintiffs alleged that the policy violated the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and sought monetary damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees. The plaintiffs moved for class certification on the injunctive and damages claims.

The parties consented to Magistrate Judge Alma Chasez hearing the case.

Initial discovery proceeded and, on January 14, 2002, the District Court (Judge Chasez) entered a Consent Decree agreed upon by the parties as to the injunctive claims. Under the Decree, the Sheriff agreed to end the challenged blanket strip search policy and issued a new policy, which allowed for the strip search of new arrestees charged with minor offenses only when reasonable suspicion existed to believe the arrestee possessed weapons or contraband. Prior to initiating the strip search under the new policy, deputies were required to fill out an agreed-upon form (Arrestee Strip Search Log) and obtain a supervisor's approval. An injunctive class was certified pursuant to the Consent Decree. A Supplemental Consent Decree was entered on May 16, 2002, under which the Sheriff agreed to install "changing booths" for men and women so that they could change their clothes in privacy when ordered to do so.

Litigation of the case continued on the damage claims. Per the agreement of the parties, Magistrate Judge Chasez certified the case as a class action for liability purposes only, by order dated January 3, 2003. While trial preparation continued, the parties began settlement discussions, which continued in an on-again/off-again fashion for years until a proposed Settlement Agreement was reached. Under the Agreement, the Sheriff agreed to pay $9.375 million, plus interest earned since June 2, 2004, to settle all class damage claims. The settlement class members included every person arrested only on "minor offenses" who entered

the Intake and Processing Center operated by the Sheriff and who fit into one of 3 subclasses:

Sub-Class A: Those subjected to strip and visual body cavity searches in the presence of deputies and/or other prisoners from April 25, 1999 through February 14, 2002.

Sub-Class B: Those subjected to strip searches when being ordered to change into jail clothes in the presence of deputies and/or other prisoners from February 15, 2002 through May 31, 2002.

Sub-Class C: Those subjected to strip searches when ordered to take off jail garments, in the presence of deputies and/or other prisoners, while being admitted to Templeman III from the Intake Center from June 1, 2002 through May 31, 2003.

Payments to individual class members would be calculated on a point system: 3 points for Sub-Class A, 1 point for Sub-Class B, and 1.5 points for Sub-Class C. Class representatives received incentive awards ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, based on their involvement and participation. Class counsel were to request an award of attorneys' fees in the amount of 35% of the settlement fund, plus expenses.

Judge Chasez preliminarily approved the settlement on January 11, 2007 and held a fairness hearing on September 13, 2007. The final judgment approving the settlement was filed on July 17, 2008.

On February 3, 2010, one of the plaintiffs filed a motion to dismiss "the appeal" but did not explain what appeal they wanted dismissed. On February 19, 2010, the court denied the plaintiff's motion because there was no appeal to be dismissed. The plaintiff appealed this decision on March 1, 2010. Again, the appeal was denied. The plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider on June 29, 2015, which was also denied.

Dan Dalton - 02/29/2008
Katherine Reineck - 02/14/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
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) Orlean's Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office
Plaintiff Description Every person arrested on a 'minor offense' and confined in the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office starting 04/25/1999 who, before his/her first court appearance, was made to expose his/her privates in the presence of deputies or other detainees.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2002 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
2:00-CV-01246-ALC (E.D. La.) 07/02/2015
JC-LA-0022-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Consent Decree for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief Only 01/14/2002
JC-LA-0022-0006 PDF | Detail
Supplemental Consent Decree Regarding "Change Out" Procedure 05/17/2002
JC-LA-0022-0007 PDF | Detail
Judgment [Certifying Class] 01/03/2003 (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0022-0008 PDF | Detail
Joint Memorandum in Support of Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement 12/21/2006
JC-LA-0022-0004 PDF | Detail
Proposed [Granted 1/11/07] Order of Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement 01/11/2007 (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0022-0005 PDF | Detail
Proof of Claim and Release Form 01/16/2007
JC-LA-0022-0001 PDF | Detail
Class Action Notice 01/16/2007
JC-LA-0022-0002 PDF | Detail
Class Action Settlement Agreement Presented to the Court for Preliminary Approval 01/16/2007
JC-LA-0022-0003 PDF | Detail
Final Judgment Pursuant to Rule 54(B) Approving Class Action Settlement and Award of Common-Benefit Fees and Expenses 07/10/2008 (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0022-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons 07/17/2008 (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0022-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Chasez, Alma L. (W.D. La., E.D. La.) [Magistrate]
JC-LA-0022-0002 | JC-LA-0022-0005 | JC-LA-0022-0006 | JC-LA-0022-0007 | JC-LA-0022-0008 | JC-LA-0022-0009 | JC-LA-0022-0010 | JC-LA-0022-9000
Sear, Morey Leonard (E.D. La.) [Magistrate]
JC-LA-0022-0006
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allweiss, Michael Richard (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0022-9000
Dalton, Samuel S. (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0022-0002 | JC-LA-0022-0003 | JC-LA-0022-0004 | JC-LA-0022-0006 | JC-LA-0022-0007 | JC-LA-0022-9000
Howell, Mary E. (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0022-0003 | JC-LA-0022-0004 | JC-LA-0022-0006 | JC-LA-0022-0007 | JC-LA-0022-9000
Norris, Christina R. Logsdon (Kentucky)
JC-LA-0022-0003 | JC-LA-0022-0004 | JC-LA-0022-0006 | JC-LA-0022-0007 | JC-LA-0022-9000
Snead, Deborah Majeda (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0022-0003 | JC-LA-0022-0004 | JC-LA-0022-0006 | JC-LA-0022-0007 | JC-LA-0022-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hassinger, Lambert Joseph Jr. (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0022-9000
Matthews, Freeman Rudolph (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0022-9000
Seago, John Emory (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0022-9000
Usry, Thomas Allen (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0022-0002 | JC-LA-0022-0003 | JC-LA-0022-0004 | JC-LA-0022-0006 | JC-LA-0022-0007 | JC-LA-0022-9000
Weeks, John F. II (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0022-0003 | JC-LA-0022-0004 | JC-LA-0022-0006 | JC-LA-0022-0007 | JC-LA-0022-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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