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 ...
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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