Case: John Does 1-100 v. Ninneman

3:84-cv-00573 | U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Filed Date: April 30, 1984

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1984, two male pre-trial detainees filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, challenging the strip search policy in effect at the Chisago County Jail. The written policy at issue was instituted by the County Sheriff in 1982 and required that all persons to be housed in the Jail be strip searched for weapons and contraband. Females were not housed in the Jail, so they were not subject to the policy and were only strip searched if…

In 1984, two male pre-trial detainees filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, challenging the strip search policy in effect at the Chisago County Jail. The written policy at issue was instituted by the County Sheriff in 1982 and required that all persons to be housed in the Jail be strip searched for weapons and contraband. Females were not housed in the Jail, so they were not subject to the policy and were only strip searched if they were suspected of harboring drugs or weapons. Plaintiffs maintained that the policy violated the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. They requested monetary damages and class certification.

Following discovery, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment and Plaintiff moved for class certification. On July 8, 1985, the District Court (Judge Edward James Devitt) held that: (1) the policy was unconstitutional and (2) Plaintiffs were entitled to judgment on liability against the County, but (2) the individual defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. John Does 1-100 v. Ninneman, 612 F.Supp. 1069 (D.Minn. 1985).

Defendants then moved to dismiss the case on grounds that the suit was not filed within the statute of limitations. On May 7, 1986, the District Court (Judge Devitt) denied Defendants' motion, holding that it would not retroactively apply the recent United States Supreme Court case, of Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261 (1985), which changed the law governing statutes of limitations in § 1983 civil rights actions. The Court also denied as premature Plaintiffs' request for an award of attorneys' fees, reasoning that Plaintiff's counsel had about 40 similar strip search cases pending and the Court wanted to avoid multiple fee awards for what was possibly repeated work. John Does 1-100 v. Ninneman, 634 F.Supp. 341 (D.Minn. 1986)

There was no PACER docket available and we have no further information on this case.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (2/17/2008)

People


Judge(s)

Devitt, Edward James (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Reed, Barry G. (Minnesota)

Zimmerman, Charles S. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Marshall, Joseph B. (Minnesota)

Votel, Terry (Minnesota)

Judge(s)

Devitt, Edward James (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Reed, Barry G. (Minnesota)

Zimmerman, Charles S. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Marshall, Joseph B. (Minnesota)

Votel, Terry (Minnesota)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:84-cv-00573

Memorandum and Order

612 F.Supp. 1069

July 8, 1985

July 8, 1985

Order/Opinion

3:84-cv-00573

Memorandum and Order

634 F.Supp. 341

May 7, 1986

May 7, 1986

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 6, 2022, 3:05 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Minnesota

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 30, 1984

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Two male pre-trial detainees (purported to represent a class) who were strip-searched at the Chisago County Jail pursuant to a blanket jail policy

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Unknown

Defendants

Chisago County Sheriff's Department (Chisago), County

Chisago County (Chisago), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Search policies

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run