Case: Allison v. Lincoln County

1:05-cv-00881 | U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico

Filed Date: Aug. 22, 2005

Closed Date: 2007

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 22, 2005, a female plaintiff represented by attorneys Mark E. Merin of Sacramento, California, Andrew C. Schwartz of Walnut Creek, California, and Robert R. Rothstein of Santa Fe, New Mexico, filed a class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for New Mexico, challenging the strip search and visual body cavity search policy in effect at the Lincoln County Detention Center. The policy at issue required that all persons housed in t…

On August 22, 2005, a female plaintiff represented by attorneys Mark E. Merin of Sacramento, California, Andrew C. Schwartz of Walnut Creek, California, and Robert R. Rothstein of Santa Fe, New Mexico, filed a class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for New Mexico, challenging the strip search and visual body cavity search policy in effect at the Lincoln County Detention Center. The policy at issue required that all persons housed in the Detention Center undergo strip and visual body cavity searches before they were arraigned and without reasonable suspicion that the searches would produce contraband or weapons. Plaintiff maintained that the policy violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, as well as state constitutional provisions and tort law, and sought monetary damages, declaratory and injunctive relief, and class certification. Named as defendants were Cornell Companies, Inc. and/or Correctional Systems, Inc. ("CSI") (the company that had contracted to operate the Detention Center), the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, and past and present Lincoln County Sheriffs. A First Amended Complaint, filed on June 28, 2006, added individuals defendants associated with Cornell/CSI and deleted the county sheriffs as defendants.

Almost immediately after the suit was filed, Cornell issued revised strip search policies for the Lincoln County Detention Center.

The parties engaged in extensive discovery, which included exchange of documents, interrogatories, and depositions. The parties took a statistical sampling of the files of approximately 3,000 persons booked at Lincoln County Detention Center during the period from August 22, 2002, until August 31, 2005 and estimated that approximately 1,200 persons who were arrested on charges not involving violence, drugs or weapons, were strip searched.

On July 12 and 13, 2006, the parties participated in mediation and arrived at an agreed Stipulation of Settlement. Under the Stipulation, the settlement class was defined as: "all persons arrested on charges not involving violence, drugs or weapons, on or between August 22, 2002, and August 31, 2005, who were strip searched at the Lincoln County Detention Center prior to arraignment." Defendants agreed to pay $1.6 million for settlement of the class claims. Of that fund, $750,000 was earmarked for distribution to qualified claimants that submitted a claim form. The named plaintiff was to receive $100,000. $600,000 was allocated for attorneys' fees and $150,000.00 to cover the costs of claims administration.

The District Court (District Judge William P. Johnson) granted preliminary approval of the class action settlement and conditionally certified the settlement class. Following a fairness hearing on November 29, 2007, the settlement was approved.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (2/18/2008)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/8473207/parties/allison-v-lincoln-cty-bd-comm/


Judge(s)

Johnson, William Paul (New Mexico)

Schneider, W. Daniel (New Mexico)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Merin, Mark E. (California)

Rothstein, Robert R. (New Mexico)

Schwartz, Andrew Charles (California)

Schwarzschild, Jeffrey I. (California)

Williams, Cathleen A. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Allen, Patrick D. (New Mexico)

Judge(s)

Johnson, William Paul (New Mexico)

Schneider, W. Daniel (New Mexico)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Merin, Mark E. (California)

Rothstein, Robert R. (New Mexico)

Schwartz, Andrew Charles (California)

Schwarzschild, Jeffrey I. (California)

Williams, Cathleen A. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Allen, Patrick D. (New Mexico)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Allison v. Lincoln Cty Bd Comm, et al

June 7, 2007 Docket
1

Class Action Complaint

Allison v. Lincoln Cty Bd Comm, et al

Aug. 22, 2005 Complaint
49

Amended Class Action Complaint

Allison v. Lincoln Cty Bd Comm, et al

June 28, 2006 Complaint
51

Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement

Allison v. Lincoln County Board of Commissioners

Oct. 27, 2006 Pleading / Motion / Brief
55

Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement

Allison v. Lincoln County Board of Commissioners

Feb. 9, 2007 Pleading / Motion / Brief
56

Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement and Conditionally Certifying the Class

Allison v. Lincoln County Board of Commissioners

May 1, 2007 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/8473207/allison-v-lincoln-cty-bd-comm/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT for damages for violations of civil & constitutional rights & for declaratory & injunctive relief with jury demand (6 Summons(es) issued) (referred to Magistrate Judge W. D. Schneider) (pz) Modified on 08/24/2005 (Entered: 08/24/2005)

Aug. 22, 2005 PACER

LETTER re: consent to proceed before a U.S. Magistrate Judge (pz)

Aug. 22, 2005 PACER
2

MOTION by pltf for attorney Mark E Merin to appear pro hac vice (pz) (Entered: 08/24/2005)

Aug. 22, 2005 PACER
3

MOTION by pltf for attorney Andrew C Schwartz to appear pro hac vice (pz) (Entered: 08/24/2005)

Aug. 22, 2005 PACER
4

MOTION by pltf for attorney Jeffrey I Schwarzschild to appear pro hac vice (pz) (Entered: 08/24/2005)

Aug. 22, 2005 PACER

FILING FEE PAID: on 8/22/05 in the amount of $250.00, receipt #: 505169. (pz)

Aug. 24, 2005 PACER

SUMMONSES issued as to deft Cornell Companies & registered agent for Correctional Systems (td)

Aug. 25, 2005 PACER
5

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Robert H. Scott granting pltfs' motions for attorney Jeffrey I Schwarzschild [4-1] Andrew C Schwartz [3-1] Mark E Merin to appear pro hac vice [2-1] (cc: all counsel) (vv) (Entered: 08/30/2005)

Aug. 30, 2005 PACER
6

NOTICE by pltf of refusal to consent to proceed before a U.S. Magistrate Judge (pz) (Entered: 09/07/2005)

Sept. 6, 2005 PACER
8

RETURN OF SERVICE executed upon Tammy Maddox, Linoln County Clerk for deft Lincoln County Board of Commissioners on 8/29/05 (td) (Entered: 09/08/2005)

Sept. 6, 2005 PACER
9

RETURN OF SERVICE executed upon Undersheriff David O'Brien for deft Lincoln County Sheriff's Department 8/29/05 (td) (Entered: 09/08/2005)

Sept. 6, 2005 PACER
10

RETURN OF SERVICE executed upon deft Correctional Systems on 8/26/05 (td) Modified on 11/14/2005 (Entered: 09/08/2005)

Sept. 6, 2005 PACER
11

RETURN OF SERVICE executed upon Undersheriff David O'Brien for deft Sheriff Richard Virden on 8/29/05 (td) (Entered: 09/08/2005)

Sept. 6, 2005 PACER
12

RETURN OF SERVICE executed upon deft Morales on 8/29/05 (td) (Entered: 09/08/2005)

Sept. 6, 2005 PACER
7

MINUTE ORDER: Case reassigned to District Judge William P. Johnson (cc: all counsel) (pz) (Entered: 09/07/2005)

Sept. 7, 2005 PACER
13

RETURN OF SERVICE executed upon defendant Cornell Companies on 9/9/05 (pz) (Entered: 09/27/2005)

Sept. 27, 2005 PACER
14

ENTRY OF APPEARANCE for defendants Lincoln Cty Bd Comm, Lincoln County, Cornell Companies, Correctional Systems, Morales by Patrick D Allen * (vv) (Entered: 10/19/2005)

Oct. 19, 2005 PACER
15

ANSWER by defendants [1-1] * (vv) (Entered: 10/19/2005)

Oct. 19, 2005 PACER
16

NOTICE of refusal to consent to proceed before US Magistrate Judge by defts (ln) (Entered: 10/21/2005)

Oct. 20, 2005 PACER
17

INITIAL SCHEDULING ORDER by Magistrate Judge W. D. Schneider Rule 16 scheduling conference set for 12/6/05 at 9:30 am; provisional discovery plan & IPTR due 11/29/05 (cc: all counsel) * (vv) (Entered: 10/21/2005)

Oct. 21, 2005 PACER
18

CERTIFICATE of service by plaintiff of initial disclosures to counsel on 11/29/05 * (vv) (Entered: 11/29/2005)

Nov. 29, 2005 PACER
19

PROVISIONAL DISCOVERY PLAN by parties (vv) (Entered: 11/29/2005)

Nov. 29, 2005 PACER
20

CLERK'S MINUTES: before Magistrate Judge W. D. Schneider Rule 16 scheduling conference held * (vv) (Entered: 12/07/2005)

Dec. 7, 2005 PACER
21

CERTIFICATE of Service by defts of initial disclosures to counsel on 12/7/05 (pr) (Entered: 12/08/2005)

Dec. 7, 2005 PACER
22

ORDER by Magistrate Judge W. D. Schneider setting settlement conference for 7/11/06 at 9:00 am (cc: all counsel) * (vv) (Entered: 12/16/2005)

Dec. 16, 2005 PACER
23

NOTICE of hearing Jury selection/trial set for 7/17/06 at 1:30 pm before Judge Johnson in Roswell (cc: all counsel) * (vv) (Entered: 12/22/2005)

Dec. 22, 2005 PACER
24

INITIAL PRE-TRIAL REPORT by District Judge William P. Johnson and Magistrate Judge W. D. Schneider; Discovery set for 12/6/06; mtn filing ddl set for 2/6/06; proposed pretrial order due 4/24/06; pretrial conference set for 9:00 am on 6/26/06; jury trial set for 1:30 pm on 7/17/06; Estimated # of Trial Days: 2-6 weeks; Chances of Settlement: unknown at this time (cc: all counsel) (vv) (Entered: 12/23/2005)

Dec. 22, 2005 PACER
25

MINUTE ORDER: Pretrial conference & Jury trial vacated (cc: all counsel) * (vv) (Entered: 12/23/2005)

Dec. 23, 2005 PACER
26

CERTIFICATE of service by defendant Lincoln County of 1st interrogatories, request for production to counsel on 1/4/06 * (vv) (Entered: 01/05/2006)

Jan. 5, 2006 PACER
27

CERTIFICATE of service by plaintiff of request for entry upon land for inspection to counsel on 1/6/06 * (vv) (Entered: 01/06/2006)

Jan. 6, 2006 PACER
28

CERTIFICATE of service by defendant of ntc of deposition to counsel on 1/10/06 (vv) (Entered: 01/11/2006)

Jan. 11, 2006 PACER
29

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by pltf Sharon Allison of 1st request for production of documents to counsel on 01/11/06* (ln) (Entered: 01/12/2006)

Jan. 11, 2006 PACER
30

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by pltf Sharon Allison of 1st set of interrogatories to counsel on 01/11/06* (ln) (Entered: 01/12/2006)

Jan. 11, 2006 PACER
31

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by pltf Sharon Allison of 1st request for admission to counsel on 01/11/06* (ln) (Entered: 01/12/2006)

Jan. 11, 2006 PACER
32

CERTIFICATE of service by plaintiff of 1st interrogatories, request for production to counsel on 2/6/06 * (vv) (Entered: 02/06/2006)

Feb. 6, 2006 PACER
33

UNOPPOSED MOTION by defendant for protective order (vv) (Entered: 02/09/2006)

Feb. 9, 2006 PACER
34

CERTIFICATE by defts Lincoln Cty Bd of Comm, Lincoln Cty Sheriff's Dept, Richard Virden, Cornell Companies, Inc., Correctional Systems, Inc. & Deputy Morales of Service of notice of non-appearance for Deposition to counsel on 02/09/06 (nc) (Entered: 02/10/2006)

Feb. 9, 2006 PACER
35

CERTIFICATE of service by defendants of answers to interrogatories, responses to request for admissions & production to counsel on 2/13/06 * (vv) (Entered: 02/13/2006)

Feb. 13, 2006 PACER
36

PROTECTIVE ORDER by Magistrate Judge W. D. Schneider : granting joint motion for protective order [33-1] (cc: all counsel) (vv) (Entered: 02/17/2006)

Feb. 17, 2006 PACER
37

NOTICE of hearing Jury selection/trial set for 7/23/07 at 1:30 pm before Judge Johnson in Roswell, NM (cc: all counsel) * (vv) (Entered: 02/21/2006)

Feb. 17, 2006 PACER
38

AMENDED INITIAL PRE-TRIAL REPORT by District Judge William P. Johnson and Magistrate Judge W. D. Schneider; Discovery set for 12/6/06; mtn filing ddl set for 2/6/07; proposed pretrial order due 4/24/07; pretrial conference set for 9:00 am on 7/9/07; jury trial set for 1:30 pm on 7/23/07; Estimated # of Trial Days: 2-6 weeks; Chances of Settlement: unknown at this time (cc: all counsel) (vv) Modified on 02/23/2006 (Entered: 02/23/2006)

Feb. 23, 2006 PACER
39

MOTION by plaintiff for leave to file amended complaint * (vv) (Entered: 04/12/2006)

April 12, 2006 PACER
40

CERTIFICATE of service by defendant of responses to 2nd request for production to counsel on 4/25/06 * (vv) (Entered: 04/26/2006)

April 26, 2006 PACER
41

RESPONSE by defendant to motion for leave to file amended complaint [39-1] * (vv) (Entered: 05/01/2006)

May 1, 2006 PACER
42

JOINT MOTION to vacate settlement conference * (vv) (Entered: 05/04/2006)

May 4, 2006 PACER
43

UNOPPOSED MOTION by plaintiff to exceed page limitation for reply brief * (vv) (Entered: 05/10/2006)

May 10, 2006 PACER
44

ORDER by Magistrate Judge W. D. Schneider granting pltf's motion to exceed page limitation for reply brief [43-1] (cc: all counsel) (vv) (Entered: 05/12/2006)

May 12, 2006 PACER
45

REPLY by plaintiff to response to motion for leave to file amended complaint [39-1] * (vv) (Entered: 05/15/2006)

May 15, 2006 PACER
46

ORDER by Magistrate Judge W. D. Schneider granting joint motion to vacate settlement conference [42-1] (cc: all counsel) (vv) (Entered: 06/01/2006)

June 1, 2006 PACER
47

UNOPPOSED MOTION by plaintiff to extend time to file class certification mtns and to disclose expert witnesses * (vv) (Entered: 06/26/2006)

June 23, 2006 PACER
48

ORDER by District Judge William P. Johnson granting pltf's motion for leave to file amended complaint [39-1] (cc: all counsel) * (vv) (Entered: 06/26/2006)

June 26, 2006 PACER
49

AMENDED COMPLAINT [1-1] by plaintiff; jury demand terminating defendants Lincoln County, Richard Virden, Lincoln County; adding Mike Holm, Roger Jeffers, Lucy Vega, Lincoln Cty Det Cntr (vv) (Entered: 06/29/2006)

June 28, 2006 PACER
50

ORDER by Magistrate Judge W. D. Schneider granting pltf's motion to extend time to file class certification mtns [47-1] & to disclose expert witnesses [47-2] (cc: all counsel) (vv) (Entered: 08/03/2006)

Aug. 3, 2006 PACER
51

JOINT MOTION for preliminary approval of class action settlement * (vv) Modified on 10/2/2007 (dmw) (Entered: 10/27/2006)

Oct. 27, 2006 PACER
52

CERTIFICATE of service by pltf of joint mtn for preliminary approval of class action settlement [with exhibits A-E] to counsel on 10/27/06 * (vv) (Entered: 10/27/2006)

Oct. 27, 2006 PACER
53

NOTICE of Hearing on Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement 51 : Motion Hearing set for 1/30/2007 01:30 PM in Albuquerque - 540 Bonito Courtroom before District Judge William P. Johnson. (mg) (Entered: 01/12/2007)

Jan. 12, 2007 PACER
54

Clerk's Minutes for hearing on Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement and Conditional Class Certification held on 1/30/2007 before Judge William P. Johnson. (Court Reporter T. Garrett.) (rg) (Entered: 01/30/2007)

Jan. 30, 2007 PACER
55

MEMORANDUM in Support of Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement filed by Sharon Allison. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1# 2 Exhibit 2)(Rothstein, Robert) (Entered: 02/09/2007)

Feb. 9, 2007 PACER
56

ORDER by Judge William P. Johnson granting preliminary approval of Class Action Settlement and conditionally certifying the Settlement Class and setting a Final Approval Hearing for 11/1/2007 09:00 AM in Albuquerque - 540 Bonito Courtroom.(mag) Modified on 8/16/2007 to create linkage with doc # 51 [vv] (Entered: 05/01/2007)

May 1, 2007 PACER
57

MINUTE ORDER vacating July 9, 2007 Pre-Trial Conference and July 23, 2007 Jury Trial in Roswell, New Mexico per Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement 56 entered 5/1/07. THIS IS A TEXT ONLY ENTRY. THERE ARE NO DOCUMENTS ATTACHED. (mag) (Entered: 06/07/2007)

June 7, 2007 PACER
58

Joint MOTION to Approve Settlement (Joint Unopposed Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement) by Sharon Allison. (Merin, Mark) (Entered: 10/15/2007)

Oct. 15, 2007 PACER
59

Unopposed MOTION for Attorney Fees (Class Counsels' Unopposed Application for Approval of Attorneys Fees and Costs) by Sharon Allison. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1# 2 Exhibit 2)(Merin, Mark) Modified on 4/24/2008 to create link with doc # 65 [vv] (Entered: 10/15/2007)

Oct. 15, 2007 PACER
60

AFFIDAVIT re 59 Unopposed MOTION for Attorney Fees (Class Counsels' Unopposed Application for Approval of Attorneys Fees and Costs), 58 Joint MOTION to Approve Settlement (Joint Unopposed Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement) (Affidavit of Mark E. Merin in Support of Joint Unopposed Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement and Approval of Attorneys Fees and Costs) by Sharon Allison (Merin, Mark) (Entered: 10/15/2007)

Oct. 15, 2007 PACER
61

AFFIDAVIT re 59 Unopposed MOTION for Attorney Fees (Class Counsels' Unopposed Application for Approval of Attorneys Fees and Costs), 58 Joint MOTION to Approve Settlement (Joint Unopposed Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement) (Affidavit of Robert R. Rothstein in Support of Joint Unopposed Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement and Approval of Attorneys Fees and Costs) by Sharon Allison (Merin, Mark) (Entered: 10/15/2007)

Oct. 15, 2007 PACER
62

AFFIDAVIT re 59 Unopposed MOTION for Attorney Fees (Class Counsels' Unopposed Application for Approval of Attorneys Fees and Costs), 58 Joint MOTION to Approve Settlement (Joint Unopposed Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement) (Affidavit of Andrew C. Schwartz in Support of Joint Unopposed Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement and Approval of Attorneys Fees and Costs) by Sharon Allison (Merin, Mark) (Entered: 10/15/2007)

Oct. 15, 2007 PACER
63

AFFIDAVIT re 59 Unopposed MOTION for Attorney Fees (Class Counsels' Unopposed Application for Approval of Attorneys Fees and Costs), 58 Joint MOTION to Approve Settlement (Joint Unopposed Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement) (Affidavit of Ryanne Fitzgerald in Support of Joint Unopposed Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement and Approval of Attorneys Fees and Costs) by Sharon Allison (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A&B)(Merin, Mark) (Entered: 10/15/2007)

Oct. 15, 2007 PACER
64

MINUTE ORDER vacating the 11/1/07 hearing and resetting Final Approval Hearing on 11/29/2007 09:00 AM in Albuquerque - 540 Bonito Courtroom before District Judge William P. Johnson. (mag) (Entered: 10/29/2007)

Oct. 29, 2007 PACER
65

JUDGMENT in favor of Plaintiffs against Defendants granting final approval of Settlement Agreement by Judge William P. Johnson (mag) Modified on 4/24/2008 to create link with doc # 59 [vv] (Entered: 11/29/2007)

Nov. 29, 2007 PACER
66

Clerk's Minutes for proceedings held before Judge William P. Johnson: Fairness Hearing held on 11/29/2007. (Court Reporter T. Garrett.) (rwg) (Entered: 11/30/2007)

Nov. 30, 2007 PACER
67

Joint MOTION to Approve Settlement Proceeds Final Distribution by Sharon Allison. (Rothstein, Robert) (Entered: 03/26/2009)

March 26, 2009 RECAP
68

ORDER by District Judge William P. Johnson granting 67 Motion to Approve Settlement (vv) (Entered: 04/03/2009)

April 3, 2009 PACER

State / Territory: New Mexico

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 22, 2005

Closing Date: 2007

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Persons arrested, not involving violence, drugs or weapons, who, in the period from three years prior to August 22, 2005, and August 31, 2005, who were subjected to strip searches at LCDC without reasonable suspicion of contraband.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Lincoln County Board of Commissioners (Lincoln), County

Lincoln County Sheriff's Department (Lincoln), County

Cornell Companies, Inc., Private Entity/Person

Lincoln County Detention Center (Lincoln), County

Correctional Systems, Inc., Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Issues

General:

Search policies

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run