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Case Name Regan v. Salt Lake County JC-UT-0003
Docket / Court 2:80-cv-00131-BSJ ( D. Utah )
State/Territory Utah
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On March 6, 1980, plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, alleging that Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office was engaging in a policy and practice of subjecting certain female detainees to strip searches and, in some ... read more >
On March 6, 1980, plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, alleging that Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office was engaging in a policy and practice of subjecting certain female detainees to strip searches and, in some cases, vaginal searches where there was not probable cause to believe that the detainees were concealing a weapon or contraband. Plaintiffs alleged that the practice violated the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. (We do not have copies of the early pleadings from this case and, so, lack information regrding counsel and the precise relief sought.)

After two years of litigation, the parties entered into a Consent Decree, which was approved by the Court on July 13, 1982. The Consent Decree imposed procedural and substantive requirements on Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office with respect to the conduct of strip searches in the County's jails. The Decree remained in force for over 20 years.

On November 3, 2004, the Sheriff moved to terminate the Consent Decree under the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), 18 U.S.C.S. § 3626(b)(1)(A)(iii). Represented by private counsel and the ACLU Foundation, Inc., plaintiffs opposed the motion and asked the Court to appoint an expert to inspect the jails to determine whether there were any ongoing constitutional violations. The District Court (District Judge Bruce S. Jenkins) denied the motion and ordered counsel for the Sheriff to analyze the current jail detainee strip search policy in light of the requirements of the Consent Decree and to show the Court that the current policy was constitutional.

After reviewing his policy, the Sheriff filed on January 12, 2005, a second motion to terminate the Decree. He attached relevant sections of the jail policy manual to the motion and argued that they showed constitutional practices. In October 2005, a supplemental pleading filed by the defendant at the court's request detailed current jail strip search policies in comparison with the decree. By unpublished order dated December 11, 2006, Judge Jenkins granted the termination request without an evidentiary hearing, finding that plaintiffs failed to allege specific facts which constituted current and ongoing constitutional violations, depite their having the post-motion opportunity to discover violations.

We have no further information about this case.

Dan Dalton - 02/12/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
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) City of Salt Lake City
County of Salt Lake
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department
Plaintiff Description Female detainees who were subjected to strip-searches and/or vaginal searches at the Salt Lake County Jail where there was not probable cause of a concealed weapon or other contraband.
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 Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1982 - 2006
Case Closing Year 2006
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)
2:80-cv-00131-BSJ (D. Utah) 12/11/2006
JC-UT-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Terminate Consent Decree 11/01/2004
JC-UT-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' Motion for Appointment of an Expert to Review Jail Procedures and Complaints and Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Terminate Consent Decree 11/01/2004
JC-UT-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' Motion in Opposition to Defendants' Second Motion to Terminate Consent Decree 02/11/2005
JC-UT-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Defendants' Supplemental Memorandum 10/20/2005
JC-UT-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order 12/11/2006 (D. Utah)
JC-UT-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Judges Jenkins, Bruce Sterling (D. Utah)
JC-UT-0003-0001 | JC-UT-0003-0002 | JC-UT-0003-0003 | JC-UT-0003-0004 | JC-UT-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Anderson, Robert M. (Utah)
JC-UT-0003-0001 | JC-UT-0003-0002 | JC-UT-0003-0003 | JC-UT-0003-0005 | JC-UT-0003-9000
Plane, Margaret D. (Utah)
JC-UT-0003-0001 | JC-UT-0003-0002 | JC-UT-0003-0003 | JC-UT-0003-0005 | JC-UT-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Holden, Patrick F. (Utah)
JC-UT-0003-0005 | JC-UT-0003-9000
Soltis, John P. (Utah)
JC-UT-0003-0005 | JC-UT-0003-9000
Yocom, David E. (Utah)
JC-UT-0003-0005
Other Lawyers None on record

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