On June 2, 2014, several women who claimed they were unjustifiably forced to take pregnancy tests after they were arrested filled this lawsuit in Superior Court in Alameda County. The plaintiffs sued the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department under 42 U.S.C § 1983 and state law. The plaintiffs, ...
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On June 2, 2014, several women who claimed they were unjustifiably forced to take pregnancy tests after they were arrested filled this lawsuit in Superior Court in Alameda County. The plaintiffs sued the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department under 42 U.S.C § 1983 and state law. The plaintiffs, represented by both private counsel and the ACLU asked the court for injunctive relief. Specifically, the plaintiffs asked the court to eradicate the requirement that all female arrestees take a pregnancy test regardless of consent, a declaration stating that the defendant’s actions were in violation of the Fourth Amendment, nominal damages and payment of attorneys’ fees.
The plaintiffs alleged that on separate occasions, they were arrested by the Alameda county police and taken to either the Glen E. Dyer Detention Facility of Santa Rita County Jail. Upon arrival at these facilities all three plaintiffs claim that they were ordered to take a pregnancy test, however, the results of these pregnancy tests were not disclosed. One plaintiff was above the age requirement for pregnancy tests stated within the General Health Services Policy & Procedure of the Santa Rita Jail and Glen E. Dyer Detention Facility. Plaintiffs claimed that the pregnancy tests were emotionally degrading as well as an invasion of their privacy.
In July 2014, the defendants moved the case from state to federal court, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. On October 14, 2014, Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James denied the plaintiffs' motion to remand the case back to state court. After several case management conferences, the plaintiffs requested to amend their complaint and resubmit to the court. On April 28, 2015, the plaintiffs filed their first amended complaint requesting nominal damages.
On May 8, 2015, during a settlement conference held in front of Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westomore, the case was settled in principle and a partial settlement was put on record. By September 3, 2015 both parties submitted a joint status report explaining their near- final settlement agreement. The settlement was placed on hiatus until the defendant could provide the plaintiffs with a representative from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office that had decision making authority to come discuss the concerns of the plaintiffs. The final settlement was reported in the second joint status report submitted on November 04, 2015. The Alameda County Sheriff’s office agreed to implement new and revised policies described in the revised inmate handbook, nominal damages, and attorneys fees. Plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the case.
On May 5, 2016, Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James ordered voluntary dismissal, but retained jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement. The agreement itself is not part of the docketed record. It does not look like the agreement included ongoing injunctive relief, so the case is presumably now closed. Kimberly Goshey - 09/29/2016