University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Kaufman v. Rivera JC-NY-0037
Docket / Court 1:95-cv-05667-JFK-HBP ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On July 31, 1995, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the City of New York in the United States Court for the Southern District of New York, Foley Square. Plaintiff, represented by private counsel, alleged that her Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights had been ... read more >
On July 31, 1995, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the City of New York in the United States Court for the Southern District of New York, Foley Square. Plaintiff, represented by private counsel, alleged that her Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights had been violated. Specifically, plaintiff claims that detention by courthouse personnel and a strip search in a semi-private bathroom violated her constitutional rights.

On August 1, 1994, plaintiff, a landlord's attorney, was at Housing Court in the Bronx. Plaintiff grew impatient and repeatedly petitioned the Court for an immediate decision in her case, at which point the court officers handcuffed her. After holding her for two hours they released her, and she returned to the courtroom to address the court. She was then arrested and brought to a 'semi-private' bathroom and strip-searched. She was then arrested, taken to the criminal court, and released without being held.

On October 7, 1996, the Court (Judge John Keenan) denied the Defendant's motion to dismiss, finding that if the plaintiff's allegations were true, it would constitute unlawful imprisonment and an unreasonable search.

On April 20th, 1998, the case went to trial. The jury found that a search had occurred, but that it was objectively reasonable. They awarded the plaintiff nominal damages. The Court denied a motion for new trial on the issue of damages only on June 12, 1998. Plaintiff appealed.

On April 1, 1999, in a per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Judge Joseph McLaughlin, Judge Damon Keith, Judge John Walker) affirmed the jury's verdict and the denial of the motion for a new trial on the issue of damages. The case was closed.

Blase Kearney - 05/07/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
General
Over/Unlawful Detention
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Bronx County Civil Court
Several named and unnamed court officers
Plaintiff Description A female attorney who was strip-searched in a "semi-private" bathroom in the courthouse after being arrested for disorderly conduct.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
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 1999
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)
1:95-cv-05667-JFK-HBP (S.D.N.Y.) 04/26/1999
JC-NY-0037-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
98-7888 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 04/27/1999
JC-NY-0037-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion and Order 10/07/1996 (1996 WL 571871 / 1996 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 14738) (S.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0037-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order 06/12/1998 (1998 WL 314744 / 1998 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 8810) (S.D.N.Y.)
JC-NY-0037-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Opinion 04/01/1999 (173 F.3d 844)
JC-NY-0037-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Keenan, John Fontaine (S.D.N.Y., FISC)
JC-NY-0037-0002 | JC-NY-0037-0003 | JC-NY-0037-9000
Keith, Damon Jerome (E.D. Mich., Sixth Circuit)
JC-NY-0037-0001 | JC-NY-0037-9001
McLaughlin, Joseph Michael (E.D.N.Y., Second Circuit)
JC-NY-0037-0001 | JC-NY-0037-9001
Pitman, Henry B. (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
JC-NY-0037-9000
Walker, John Mercer Jr. (S.D.N.Y., Second Circuit)
JC-NY-0037-0001 | JC-NY-0037-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Moore, Jonathan C. (New York)
JC-NY-0037-0002 | JC-NY-0037-9000
Williams, Daniel R. (New York)
JC-NY-0037-0001 | JC-NY-0037-0002 | JC-NY-0037-9000 | JC-NY-0037-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Hueston, Michael Oliver (New York)
JC-NY-0037-9000
Levy, Mindy A. (New York)
JC-NY-0037-0002
Sampson, Lyssa M. (New York)
JC-NY-0037-0001
Vacco, Dennis C. (New York)
JC-NY-0037-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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