University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Foreman v. Connecticut JC-CT-0002
Docket / Court 3:01-cv-00061-WIG ( D. Conn. )
State/Territory Connecticut
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On January 11, 2001, three plaintiffs filed a class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the for the District of Connecticut, challenging the policies, practices, and customs concerning the use of strip searches and visual body cavity searches of ... read more >
On January 11, 2001, three plaintiffs filed a class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the for the District of Connecticut, challenging the policies, practices, and customs concerning the use of strip searches and visual body cavity searches of detainees at the New Haven Community Correctional Center in New Haven, Connecticut ("NHCCC"). Plaintiffs alleged that were arrested for "minor" civil offenses involving nonpayment of child support. One plaintiff was strip searched pursuant to a blanket written policy of the NHCCC requiring that all arrestees undergo strip searches. The other two plaintiffs were strip searched before the written policy was enacted. Plaintiffs alleged that the strip searches violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. They sought class certification, actual and punitive damages, and permanent injunctive relief. The initial complaint was subsequently amended three times. Defendants generally denied the allegations.

After the parties conducted initial discovery, plaintiffs moved for class certification for the limited purpose of seeking injunctive relief as to the challenged the "blanket strip search policy." Plaintiff also filed a motion for partial summary judgment.

In January 2003, the District Court (District Judge Christopher F. Droney) referred the case to Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel for settlement purposes. Judge Garfinkel conducted several settlement conferences. While negotiations were ongoing, Judge Droney denied the motion for class certification on March 6, 2003. Foreman v. State of Connecticut, 2003 WL 1056750 (D. Conn. Mar 05, 2003). The District Court the granted plaintiffs' cross-motion for partial summary judgment, but then vacated its order after defendants requested reconsideration. The motion was then denied without prejudice in light of settlement negotiations.

The case was eventually settled and settlement authorized by the Connecticut State Legislature. Magistrate Judge Garfinkel preliminarily approved the Class Action Settlement Agreement on March 16, 2006 and set the matter for a fairness hearing on July 20, 2006. After the hearing, Judge Garfinkel issued an order finally approving the Settlement Agreement, in which the State agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle all class claims. The Court approved attorneys' fees to class counsel in the amount of 1/3 of the settlement proceeds ($833,333.33). No class member would receive in excess of $10,000 under the settlement's terms, except for the three named plaintiffs, who receive $20,000 apiece, in part for surrendering their anonymity to serve as named plaintiffs.

On November 2, 2007, the court entered an order dismissing the case.

Dan Dalton - 01/22/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
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) New Haven Community Correctional Center
State of Connecticut
Plaintiff Description All males who, after their arrest for any qualifying misdemeanor offense were required by the NHCCC between January 12, 1998 and January 12, 2001 to remove their clothing for visual inspection of their buttock and genitalia without reasonable suspicion.
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
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2007
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 ]

  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)
3:01-cv-00061-WIG (D. Conn.) 11/02/2007
JC-CT-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Ruling on the Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification 03/05/2003 (2003 WL 1056750 / 2003 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 3536) (D. Conn.)
JC-CT-0002-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration 10/03/2003
JC-CT-0002-0005 PDF | Detail
Ruling [on motion for summary judgment] 03/19/2004 (D. Conn.)
JC-CT-0002-0006 PDF | Detail
Joint Status Report 12/08/2005
JC-CT-0002-0007 PDF | Detail
Order Granting Preliminary Approval to Class Action Settlement Agreement 03/16/2006 (D. Conn.)
JC-CT-0002-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 07/20/2006
JC-CT-0002-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fairness Hearing Opinion and Order 08/03/2006 (D. Conn.)
JC-CT-0002-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Claim Form 09/23/2006
JC-CT-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Droney, Christopher Fitzgerald (D. Conn., Second Circuit)
JC-CT-0002-0005 | JC-CT-0002-0006 | JC-CT-0002-0008
Garfinkel, William I. (D. Conn.) [Magistrate]
JC-CT-0002-0002 | JC-CT-0002-0003 | JC-CT-0002-0004 | JC-CT-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Belzley, Gregory A. (Kentucky)
JC-CT-0002-0003 | JC-CT-0002-0004 | JC-CT-0002-0007 | JC-CT-0002-9000
Kelly, Thomas W. (Rhode Island)
JC-CT-0002-9000
Wallace, Anthony A. (Connecticut)
JC-CT-0002-0004 | JC-CT-0002-0007 | JC-CT-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Grudberg, Ira B. (Connecticut)
JC-CT-0002-9000
O'Neill, Terrance M. (Connecticut)
JC-CT-0002-0003 | JC-CT-0002-0004 | JC-CT-0002-0007 | JC-CT-0002-9000
Strom, Steven R. (Connecticut)
JC-CT-0002-0003 | JC-CT-0002-0004 | JC-CT-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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