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Case Name Maryland NAACP v. Baltimore City Police Department JC-MD-0008
Docket / Court 1:06-cv-01863-CCB ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
This case, Maryland NAACP v. Baltimore City Police Department, 1:06-cv-01863-CCB (D. Md. 2006) was one of three cases filed about the same time alleging mistreatment of persons arrested and taken to Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center ("Central Booking" or "CBIC") for booking and ... read more >
This case, Maryland NAACP v. Baltimore City Police Department, 1:06-cv-01863-CCB (D. Md. 2006) was one of three cases filed about the same time alleging mistreatment of persons arrested and taken to Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center ("Central Booking" or "CBIC") for booking and processing. (The other cases were JC-MD-0007: Jones v. Murphy, Case No. 1:05-cv-01287-CCB (D. Md. 2005) and JC-MD-0011: Rodney v. Murphy, 24-C-05004405, filed in Maryland state court.) Central Booking was opened in 1995 as the central location for booking and processing arrestees in Baltimore City. Operated by the Maryland Division of Pretrial Detention and Services, part of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Central Booking processed approximately 100,000 arrestees annually.

This case was a class-action lawsuit filed in the United States District for the District of Maryland on July 21, 2006, by five individuals and two NAACP entities. Represented by the ACLU of Maryland Foundation and private attorneys from New York and Washington, D.C., the plaintiffs alleged that the Baltimore City Police Department engaged in a pattern and practice of illegally arresting tens of thousands of individuals each year who were not and could not be prosecuted. The plaintiffs further alleged that, after being illegally arrested, the individuals were taken to Central Booking where they were strip-searched and detained for days, as long as 54 hours, in inhumane conditions, until they were released without being charged with a crime. This practice, plaintiffs alleged, was encouraged by the Baltimore Police Department, which rewarded officers for high arrest productivity and punished officers with few arrests, regardless of the success of the prosecution. In 2005, 30% of those arrested without a warrant were never charged. The plaintiffs alleged there were illegal arrests for things such as stopping on the street to watch a woman being handcuffed, handing out religious pamphlets, sitting on the steps of a building, dropping a food wrapper, and walking down the street.

The plaintiffs sought monetary damages, injunctive relief, and certification for a class consisting of "arrestees who were (1) arrested by the Police Department without probable cause and (2) released without charges after being booked at CBIC." The defendants included the City of Baltimore, the Baltimore Police Department, the warden of Central Booking, and other state officials.

The State defendants answered by generally denying the charges. The City and Police Department moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. On December 1, 2006, the District Court (District Judge Catherine C. Blake) denied the motion to dismiss. 2006 WL 3626898 (D. Md. Dec 01, 2006).

As discovery progressed, Judge Blake required the parties in this case and Jones v. Murhpy, another pending before her, to provide periodic status reports to the Court. The state defendants produced electronic data pertaining to arrests from 2002--August 2007 and numerous hardcopy documents. The plaintiffs also took the depositions of various officials with the Police Department and Central Booking.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on December 18, 2007, adding 9 individual plaintiffs and several new defendants, including the new Mayor of Baltimore and several police officers. On February 27, 2008, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint adding additional plaintiffs and defendants. On April 25, 2008, the plaintiffs moved for class certification.

Following leadership changes at BPD, the parties entered into settlement negotiations, which culminated in settlement agreement to end the lawsuit. On June 29, 2010, the parties reached a settlement agreement that was approved by the court. The comprehensive settlement provided for significant reforms of the BPD's arrest and monitoring practices and the court retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement for three years. The BPD committed to new policies and training to ensure officers knew the limits of their authority, and would address low level offenses with actions short of arrest whenever possible. The defendants agreed to pay the plaintiffs $630,000 in damages and attorneys' fees. The agreement also required the BPD to implement a new system of comprehensive data collection and monitoring, which would be overseen by an independent auditor. The job of the auditor was to ensure not only that the data is being kept and appropriately used and analyzed, but also to review probable cause statements to verify that officers had sufficient cause for an arrest, and that supervisors are adequately monitoring officers' actions, and intervening as necessary. The auditor's reports can be found on the ACLU's website here.

On April 30, 2012, the auditor released his first report and the plaintiffs alleged in a press release that the BPD had failed to comply with the settlement agreement. The plaintiffs stated that the status report revealed that BPD officers did not or could not justify arrests for quality of life offenses in at least 35 percent of the cases examined; that the BPD was almost one and half years late in creating a database to allow it to effectively monitor officer and supervisor behavior; and that the BPD was improperly refusing to give the auditor records of arrests that resulted in persons being released without charge, the very arrests most likely to be improper, and the ones that led to the lawsuit in the first place. The docket sheet does not reveal any plaintiffs' motion regarding this alleged noncompliance with the settlement agreement.

For the next three years, the auditor continued to file report documenting the defendants' implementation of the settlement agreement. The auditor filed his final report in 2015. The case is now closed.

Dan Dalton - 02/12/2008
Jessica Kincaid - 03/15/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Monitor/Master
Recordkeeping
Required disclosure
Training
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Over/Unlawful Detention
Sanitation / living conditions
Search policies
Strip search policy
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Baltimore City Police Department
City of Baltimore
Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
Maryland Division of Pretrial Detention and Services
State of Maryland
Plaintiff Description "...arrestees who were (1) arrested by the Police Department without probable cause and (2) released without charges after being booked at CBIC [Central Booking and Intake Center]."
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2010 - 2015
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing JC-MD-0007 : Jones v. Murphy (D. Md.)
JC-MD-0011 : Rodney v. Murphy (State Court)
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)
1:06-cv-01863-CCB (D. Md.) 06/29/2007
JC-MD-0008-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:05-cv-01287-CCB (D. Md.) 06/29/2010
JC-MD-0008-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 06/14/2006
JC-MD-0008-0001 PDF | Detail
Memorandum [Denying Summary Judgment] 12/01/2006 (2006 WL 3626898 / 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 89427) (D. Md.)
JC-MD-0008-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Answer to Plaintiff's Class Action Complaint 12/15/2006
JC-MD-0008-0002 PDF | Detail
NAACP Plaintiffs' Status Report 10/01/2007
JC-MD-0008-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint and Jury Demand 12/18/2007
JC-MD-0008-0004 PDF | Detail
First Amended Complaint and Jury Demand 12/18/2007
JC-MD-0008-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Settlement 06/25/2010
JC-MD-0008-0011 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreed Order of Dismissal 06/29/2010 (D. Md.)
JC-MD-0008-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Claims of Plaintiffs Eric Jones and David Colyns 05/01/2013
JC-MD-0008-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Blake, Catherine C. (D. Md.) [Magistrate]
JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-0010 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Benson, Hillary Gould (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Borden, Bennett B. (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-0004 | JC-MD-0008-0009
Cantu, Daniel Alfonso (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-0001 | JC-MD-0008-0003 | JC-MD-0008-0004 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-0009 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Claiborne, William Charles III (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Day, Sean Robert (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Dodson, Scott (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-0001
Dowdle, Stephenie Joy (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-0003 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Geht, Jan Meir (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-0001 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Jacques, Elise Kochtitzky (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Jeon, Deborah A. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0001 | JC-MD-0008-0003 | JC-MD-0008-0004 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-0009 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Karlan, Mitchell A. (New York)
JC-MD-0008-0001 | JC-MD-0008-0003 | JC-MD-0008-0004 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-0009 | JC-MD-0008-0011 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Litt, Barrett S. (California)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Mendro, Jason Jacob (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Morrow, Jason Eugene (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-0001 | JC-MD-0008-0003 | JC-MD-0008-0004 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-0009 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Rocah, David R. (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-0001 | JC-MD-0008-0003 | JC-MD-0008-0004 | JC-MD-0008-0009 | JC-MD-0008-0011 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Schrader, Wayne A. (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-0001 | JC-MD-0008-0003 | JC-MD-0008-0004 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-0009 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Wharwood, Dave Merwin (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-0003 | JC-MD-0008-0004 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-0009 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Wilson, Sarah A. (District of Columbia)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Auerbach, Joshua Neal (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0002 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Bellamy, Conseulo Beatric Nunez (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0007 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Brockman, William F. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0007 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Conti, Michael Francis (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0002 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Curran, John Joseph Jr. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Doyle, Michael O Connor (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Eason, Alan D (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Embry, Elizabeth Mears (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Fader, Matthew J. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0007 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Gansler, Douglas F. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0007
Grimes, Mark H (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Hornig, Karen Stakem (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0002 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Hughes, Beverly (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Janey, Neal Marcellas Jr (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Johnson, Kim Yvette (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9001
Moore, David Reid (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Nilson, George A. (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0011 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Pothier, Karl Aram (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0007 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Sangree, Suzanne (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Sheridan, Patrick (Maryland)
JC-MD-0008-0002 | JC-MD-0008-0008 | JC-MD-0008-9000 | JC-MD-0008-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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