On April 16, 2007, Plaintiff, represented by private attorney Mark E. Merin, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in order to challenge the Sheriff's policies and practices concerning the use of strip and visual body cavity ...
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On April 16, 2007, Plaintiff, represented by private attorney Mark E. Merin, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in order to challenge the Sheriff's policies and practices concerning the use of strip and visual body cavity searches in Solano County Jail. Plaintiff, who was arrested on minor criminal charges, complained that he was subsequently strip searched in a group with ten other persons pursuant to a policy under which officers routinely subjected custodial detainees to strip and visual body cavity searches prior to arraignment and in the absence of any reasonable suspicion that the detainees possessed contraband or weapons.
Plaintiff claimed that such a policy violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution as well as California state law. To remedy the alleged violations, Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, monetary damages, and class certification.
On July 29, 2008, Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint to add four new plaintiffs. The hearing and motions regarding class certification then kept getting pushed back as the parties continued discovery and settlement negotiations.
On September 25, 2009, the parties presented their settlement to the court which was approved 4 days later. Parties agreed that class certification was inappropriate because defendants had revised their policy on November 20, 2003 and again in 2007 to comply with federal law. To remedy the individual violations that had occurred in spite of the policy revisions, the defendants agreed to pay $12,500 each plaintiff, $100,000 in attorney fees, and $750-$1000 to each person who contacted plaintiff's attorney alleging that they fell within the allegations in the complaint. The defendants paid a total of $210,000, and on September 29, 2009, the case was dismissed with prejudice.Timothy Shoffner - 06/17/2012
Maurice Youkanna - 07/02/2014