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Case Name McGill v. Lee County JC-AL-0015
Docket / Court 3:96-cv-01140-WHA-VPM ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On July 19, 1996 Plaintiff filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District Alabama challenging the Lee County Jail policy of conducting strip-searches before all detainees were placed into cells. Plaintiff was arrested for driving while under the influence and ... read more >
On July 19, 1996 Plaintiff filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District Alabama challenging the Lee County Jail policy of conducting strip-searches before all detainees were placed into cells. Plaintiff was arrested for driving while under the influence and was forced to strip down to her underwear in the presence of a female guard. A second plaintiff filed a similar suit on January 8, 1997, alleging that she was strip searched naked after being arrested on bad check charges. The lawsuits of both women were consolidated.

On January 20, 1998, the District Court (Chief Judge Harold Albritton, III) granted summary judgment to the defendants and dismissed the plaintiffs' claims. Judge Albritton ruled that the Lee County policy of conducting limited strip-searches of all pretrial detainees prior to placing them into cells was reasonable within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Magill v. Lee County, 990 F.Supp. 1382 (M.D.Ala. 1998). Plaintiffs appealed and the Eleventh Circuit affirmed without a reported opinion. Magill v. Lee County, 161 F.3d 22 (11th Cir. 1998) (Table).

Dan Dalton - 08/08/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
General
Strip search policy
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Lee County
Plaintiff Description Two female detainees, one arrested for DUI and one in connection with passing bad checks, strip-searched to near and complete nakedness, respectively, after being admitted to Lee County Jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1998
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)
3:97-cv-00025-WHA (M.D. Ala.) 01/20/1998
JC-AL-0015-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:96-cv-01140-WHA-VPM (M.D. Ala.) 11/02/1998
JC-AL-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion 01/20/1998 (990 F.Supp. 1382) (M.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0015-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Brief of Appellants 06/19/1998
JC-AL-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Brief of Appellees 07/29/1998
JC-AL-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
[Opinion Affirming DC Decision] 09/30/1998 (161 F.3d 22)
JC-AL-0015-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Albritton, William Harold III (M.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0015-0003 | JC-AL-0015-9000 | JC-AL-0015-9001
McPherson, Vanzetta Penn (M.D. Ala.) [Magistrate]
JC-AL-0015-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bennitt, Jeffrey William (Alabama)
JC-AL-0015-0001 | JC-AL-0015-0002 | JC-AL-0015-0003 | JC-AL-0015-9000 | JC-AL-0015-9001
Bufford-Bennitt, Robyn G. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0015-0003 | JC-AL-0015-9000 | JC-AL-0015-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Davidson, Kelly G. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0015-0003 | JC-AL-0015-9000
Harmon, Bart Gregory (Alabama)
JC-AL-0015-0001 | JC-AL-0015-9000
Mahaney, Patrick Dennis (Alabama)
JC-AL-0015-9000
Webb, Kendrick E. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0015-0001 | JC-AL-0015-0002 | JC-AL-0015-0003 | JC-AL-0015-9000 | JC-AL-0015-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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