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Case Name Todd v. Solano County JC-CA-0032
Docket / Court 2:07-cv-00726-FCD-EFB ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On April 16, 2007, Plaintiff, represented by private attorney Mark E. Merin, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in order to challenge the Sheriff's policies and practices concerning the use of strip and visual body cavity ... read more >
On April 16, 2007, Plaintiff, represented by private attorney Mark E. Merin, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in order to challenge the Sheriff's policies and practices concerning the use of strip and visual body cavity searches in Solano County Jail. Plaintiff, who was arrested on minor criminal charges, complained that he was subsequently strip searched in a group with ten other persons pursuant to a policy under which officers routinely subjected custodial detainees to strip and visual body cavity searches prior to arraignment and in the absence of any reasonable suspicion that the detainees possessed contraband or weapons.

Plaintiff claimed that such a policy violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution as well as California state law. To remedy the alleged violations, Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, monetary damages, and class certification.

On July 29, 2008, Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint to add four new plaintiffs. The hearing and motions regarding class certification then kept getting pushed back as the parties continued discovery and settlement negotiations.

On September 25, 2009, the parties presented their settlement to the court which was approved 4 days later. Parties agreed that class certification was inappropriate because defendants had revised their policy on November 20, 2003 and again in 2007 to comply with federal law. To remedy the individual violations that had occurred in spite of the policy revisions, the defendants agreed to pay $12,500 each plaintiff, $100,000 in attorney fees, and $750-$1000 to each person who contacted plaintiff's attorney alleging that they fell within the allegations in the complaint. The defendants paid a total of $210,000, and on September 29, 2009, the case was dismissed with prejudice.

Timothy Shoffner - 06/17/2012
Maurice Youkanna - 07/02/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Disciplinary procedures
Search policies
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Solano County
Plaintiff Description CA residents arrested from 04/16/2005 through 04/16/2007 who were subjected to strip / cavity searches at the Solano County Jail prior to being arraigned and without reasonable suspicion.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2009
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)
2:07-cv-00726-FCD-EFB (E.D. Cal.) 09/29/2009
JC-CA-0032-9000 PDF | Detail
Non-PACER U.S. District Court Website
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 04/16/2007
JC-CA-0032-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Defendants' Motion to Compel] 02/01/2008 (2008 WL 283988) (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0032-0006 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
FIRST AMENDED CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT, DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL 07/29/2008
JC-CA-0032-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
JOINT MOTION FOR ORDER APPROVING STIPULATION OF SETTLEMENT AND DISMISSAL OF COMPLAINT 09/24/2009
JC-CA-0032-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER GRANTING SETTLEMENT AND DISMISSAL OF ACTION 09/28/2009
JC-CA-0032-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Brennan, Edmund F. Court not on record
JC-CA-0032-0006 | JC-CA-0032-9000
Damrell, Frank C. Jr. (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0032-0003 | JC-CA-0032-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Merin, Mark E. (California)
JC-CA-0032-0001 | JC-CA-0032-0002 | JC-CA-0032-0004 | JC-CA-0032-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cassidy, Terence J (California)
JC-CA-0032-0004 | JC-CA-0032-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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