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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Way v. Ventura County JC-CA-0040
Docket / Court 2:01-cv-05401-CBM-E ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On June 19, 2001, a female arrestee, who had been subjected to a strip search with body cavity inspection upon being booked on misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of cocaine or methamphetamine in violation of California state law filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United ... read more >
On June 19, 2001, a female arrestee, who had been subjected to a strip search with body cavity inspection upon being booked on misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of cocaine or methamphetamine in violation of California state law filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, challenging the Ventura County Jail strip search policy. Plaintiff alleged that her search involved a visual inspection of her unclothed body cavities by a female deputy. The deputy found no contraband, weapons or drugs. Plaintiff claimed the search deprived her of her civil rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Both parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, with the defendants arguing that they were entitled to qualified immunity. The District Court (Judge Consuelo B. Marshall) granted plaintiff's motion, finding that the strip search of plaintiff, done pursuant to the County's policy, violated the Fourth Amendment. The Court denied defendants' qualified immunity defense. The defendants appealed. The appeal was initially dismissed as premature. Way v. County of Ventura, 348 F.3d 808 (9th Cir. 2003) (Circuit Judge John Clifford Wallace). When the issue was eventually decided on appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, in part, on the issue that the search was unconstitutional, but determined that the individual defendant deputies were entitled to qualified immunity. (That defense was not available to Ventura County.) Way v. County of Ventura, 445 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2006) (Circuit Judge Pamela Ann Rymer). Certiorari was denied by Ventura County, Cal. v. Way, 127 S.Ct. 665, 166 L.Ed.2d 513 (2006).

On remand, the case was settled after three days of mediation. The parties filed a stipulated dismissal with prejudice on May 2, 2007, where plaintiff expressly agreed to waive all of her rights, including the right to recovery in the companion class action case, Gamino v. County of Ventura. [See JC-CA-53 for a case summary]. The terms of the settlement were private and not made part of the court record.

Dan Dalton - 01/21/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
General
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) Ventura County
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff was arrested for suspicion of being under the influence of methamphetamines. While waiting in the cell at the Ventura County Jail, plaintiff was strip searched, including a body cavity search.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing JC-CA-0053 : Gamino v. Ventura County (C.D. Cal.)
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)
2:01-cv-05401-CBM-E (C.D. Cal.) 05/14/2007
JC-CA-0040-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint 12/12/2001
JC-CA-0040-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Granting In Part Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 07/22/2002 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0040-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Opinion] 10/31/2003 (348 F.3d 808)
JC-CA-0040-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order Denying Motion for Summary Judgment 02/18/2004 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0040-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 04/20/2006 (445 F.3d 1157)
JC-CA-0040-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Stipulated Order of Prejudicial Dismissal of All Defendants 05/02/2007 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0040-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Eick, Charles F. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0040-9000
Marshall, Consuelo Bland (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0040-0002 | JC-CA-0040-0003 | JC-CA-0040-0004 | JC-CA-0040-0006 | JC-CA-0040-9000
Reed, Edward Cornelius Jr. (D. Nev.)
JC-CA-0040-0005
Rymer, Pamela Ann (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
JC-CA-0040-0005 | JC-CA-0040-0006
Tallman, Richard C. (Ninth Circuit, FISCR)
JC-CA-0040-0006
Wallace, John Clifford (S.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
JC-CA-0040-0006
Wardlaw, Kim McLane (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
JC-CA-0040-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bell, Earnest C. S. (California)
JC-CA-0040-0001 | JC-CA-0040-0005 | JC-CA-0040-0006 | JC-CA-0040-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Held, Jeffrey (California)
JC-CA-0040-0005 | JC-CA-0040-0006 | JC-CA-0040-9000
Wisotsky, Alan E. (California)
JC-CA-0040-0005 | JC-CA-0040-0006 | JC-CA-0040-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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