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Case Name Moser v. Anderson JC-NH-0003
Docket / Court 1:93-cv-00634-PB ( D.N.H. )
State/Territory New Hampshire
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
In 1993, Plaintiff, represented by several private attorneys, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, challenging the strip search policies in effect in the jails of Merrimack County, Carroll County, and Strafford County, New ... read more >
In 1993, Plaintiff, represented by several private attorneys, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, challenging the strip search policies in effect in the jails of Merrimack County, Carroll County, and Strafford County, New Hampshire. Plaintiff claimed that the challenged policies, which required that all inmates be strip searched upon admission to jail, were unconstitutional. Plaintiff requested class certification in addition to other relief.

Our information on this case is limited to the PACER docket and one published opinion. We do not have copies of pleadings filed with the Court.

According to the docket, the District Court (Judge Paul J. Barbadoro) certified the case as a class action on September 30, 1996. The parameters of the class were not set out in the docket entries. A discovery schedule was set and it appears that the Court ordered that the case proceed in phases, with Phase I presumably dealing with liability issues.

Strafford County moved for summary judgment, which the Court denied, finding that the County's blanket policy of strip searching all inmates upon admission to the jails was unconstitutional. Moser v. Anderson, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22637 (D.N.H. Nov. 25, 1996). The remaining Phase I issues were resolved on April 10, 1998 when Judge Barbadoro granted summary judgment for Plaintiffs.

Settlement negotiations ensued, with the parties agreeing to mediation. The case was ultimately settled and the settlement was preliminarily approved by the court on August 20, 1999. Judge Barbadoro issued a final order approving the settlement on January 14, 2000. The precise settlement terms are not apparent from the docket, but news accounts reported that the case settled for $3 million. Claims were paid on an agreed point system. It was estimated that there were 2,000 class members, 356 of whom made claims for a participation rate of 17.8%. The Court also awarded 33.3% of the settlement fund for attorney's fees, litigation costs, and claims administration expenses.

A final report on settlement administration was filed in April 2000 and the case was then closed.

Dan Dalton - 02/23/2008


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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
State Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Carroll County
Merrimack County
Strafford County
Plaintiff Description All persons subjected to the strip-search policies of the strip search policies of jails operated by Merrimack County, Carroll County and Strafford County, New Hampshire.
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 Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2001
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)
1:93-cv-00634-PB (D.N.H.) 10/16/2001
JC-NH-0003-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order [Denying Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment] 11/25/1996 (1996 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 22637) (D.N.H.)
JC-NH-0003-0001 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Judges Barbadoro, Paul J. (D.N.H.)
JC-NH-0003-0001 | JC-NH-0003-9000
Muirhead, James R. (D.N.H.) [Magistrate]
JC-NH-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barron, Bruce E. (New Hampshire)
JC-NH-0003-0001 | JC-NH-0003-9000
Bigg, Dort S. (New Hampshire)
JC-NH-0003-0001 | JC-NH-0003-9000
Hamilton, Joseph L. (New Hampshire)
JC-NH-0003-0001 | JC-NH-0003-9000
Isaac, Andrew L. (New Hampshire)
JC-NH-0003-9000
Loring, James P. (New Hampshire)
JC-NH-0003-0001 | JC-NH-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gardner, Donald E. (New Hampshire)
JC-NH-0003-0001 | JC-NH-0003-9000
McNeill, Malcolm R. Jr. (New Hampshire)
JC-NH-0003-0001 | JC-NH-0003-9000
Satter, Cynthia Andras (New Hampshire)
JC-NH-0003-9000
Scott, William G. (New Hampshire)
JC-NH-0003-0001 | JC-NH-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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