University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Williams v. Niagara County JC-NY-0032
Docket / Court 1:06-cv-00291 ( W.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On May 5, 2006, Plaintiffs, represented by several private law firms, filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, challenging the constitutionality of the Niagara County Sheriff's blanket strip search policy. Specifically, Plaintiffs ... read more >
On May 5, 2006, Plaintiffs, represented by several private law firms, filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, challenging the constitutionality of the Niagara County Sheriff's blanket strip search policy. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that, following their arrests for petty crimes, they were subjected to the Sheriff's blanket policy of strip-searching all individuals who entered the Niagara County Jail, regardless of the crime for which they were charged and despite the absence of reasonable suspicion to believe that they were concealing weapons or contraband. Plaintiffs claimed that such a policy violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. To remedy the alleged violation, they requested that the court issue declaratory and injunctive relief, monetary and punitive damages, and class certification. Defendants answered by generally denying all allegations.

The case was assigned to District Judge William M. Skretny, who subsequently assigned it to Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott for handling of pre-trial proceedings. Magistrate Judge Scott entered a scheduling order on August 2, 2006, and discovery ensued.

On July 6, 2007, Plaintiffs moved for class certification and Defendants opposed the motion. At the time of this summary, the certification issue was still pending before the Court.

Dan Dalton - 01/28/2007


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
General
Search policies
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Niagara County Sheriff's Department
The County of Niagara
Plaintiff Description All persons who have been or will be placed into the custody of the Niagara County Jail after being charged with petty crimes and were or will be strip searched upon their entry into the Niagara County Jail. Class commences May 5, 2003.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
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)
1:06-cv-00291-WMS-HBS (W.D.N.Y.) 05/24/2012
JC-NY-0032-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 05/05/2006
JC-NY-0032-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Class Action Complaint 04/16/2007
JC-NY-0032-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order [granting class certification] 09/26/2008 (W.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0032-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Arcara, Richard Joseph (W.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0032-0003 | JC-NY-0032-9000
Scott, Hugh B. (W.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
JC-NY-0032-9000
Skretny, William M. (W.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0032-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barnett, Alexander E. (New York)
JC-NY-0032-0001 | JC-NY-0032-0002 | JC-NY-0032-9000
Cuneo, Jonathan W. (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0032-0001 | JC-NY-0032-0002 | JC-NY-0032-9000
Jay, David G. (New York)
JC-NY-0032-0001 | JC-NY-0032-0002 | JC-NY-0032-9000
Keach, Elmer Robert III (New York)
JC-NY-0032-0001 | JC-NY-0032-0002 | JC-NY-0032-9000
LaDuca, Charles Joseph (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0032-0001 | JC-NY-0032-0002 | JC-NY-0032-9000
Mason, Gary E. (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0032-0001 | JC-NY-0032-0002 | JC-NY-0032-9000
Menken, Bruce E. (New York)
JC-NY-0032-0001 | JC-NY-0032-0002 | JC-NY-0032-9000
Migliaccio, Nicholas A. (District of Columbia)
JC-NY-0032-0001 | JC-NY-0032-0002 | JC-NY-0032-9000
Rozger, Jason J. (New York)
JC-NY-0032-0001 | JC-NY-0032-0002 | JC-NY-0032-9000
Schumann-McGhee, Bethany (New York)
JC-NY-0032-9000
Warren, Alexandra C. (Virginia)
JC-NY-0032-0002 | JC-NY-0032-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Domagalski, James Paul (New York)
JC-NY-0032-9000
Gaglione, Frank T. (New York)
JC-NY-0032-9000
Martin , Shawn P. (New York)
JC-NY-0032-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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