Case: Pritchard v. County of Erie

1:04-cv-00534 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York

Filed Date: July 21, 2004

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 31, 2003, three plaintiffs represented by private attorneys with law firms in New York and Washington, D.C., filed this class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. They alleged that the Erie County Sheriff's Department had an unconstitutional blanket policy and/or practice of strip searching all individuals who entered either the Erie County Holding Center or the Erie County Correctional Facility, r…

On October 31, 2003, three plaintiffs represented by private attorneys with law firms in New York and Washington, D.C., filed this class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. They alleged that the Erie County Sheriff's Department had an unconstitutional blanket policy and/or practice of strip searching all individuals who entered either the Erie County Holding Center or the Erie County Correctional Facility, regardless of the crime charged and without reasonable suspicion that the individuals were concealing weapons or contraband. The plaintiffs alleged that the policy violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief, compensatory and punitive damages, and class certification.

The parties engaged in contentious discovery, resulting in numerous discovery motions and request for sanctions. District Judge John T. Curtin and Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott made numerous unpublished rulings on these issues. See, e.g., Pritchard v. County of Erie, 2006 WL 1455484 (W.D. N.Y. May 22, 2006) and Pritchard v. County of Erie, 2006 WL 2927852 (W.D. N.Y. Oct 12, 2006) (order relating to the deposition of an Assistant County Attorney). Additionally, the judges issued opinions regarding discovery of e-mails sent by a former Assistant County Attorney to individual defendants and other Sheriff's Department officials regarding the Sheriff's Department's evolving policies regarding inmate strip searches. See Pritchard v. County of Erie, 2006 WL 3858475 (W.D. N.Y. Jan. 04, 2006); objections overruled by Pritchard v. County of Erie, 2006 WL 3872844 (W.D. N.Y. Apr. 17, 2006); vacated and remanded by In re County of Erie, 473 F.3d 413 (2nd Cir. 2007) (Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs); on remand, the Court found that dissemination of attorney's advice did not waive attorney-client privilege. Pritchard v. County of Erie, 2007 WL 1703832 (W.D. N.Y. June 12, 2007). On reconsideration, the Court found that the defendants waived the attorney-client privilege with respect to the disputed e-mails by placing the information in those communications "at issue" in the litigation. Pritchard v. County of Erie, 2007 WL 3232096 (W.D. N.Y. Oct 31, 2007).

On September, 2009, the plaintiffs sought class certification of the class of all persons who have been placed into the custody of the Erie County Correctional Facility and/or the Erie County Holding Center after being charged with misdemeanors, violations, violations of probation or parole, traffic infractions, civil commitments or other minor crimes and were strip searched upon their entry into the Erie County Correctional Facility and/or the Erie County Holding Center pursuant to the policy, custom and practice of the Erie County Sheriff's Department and the County of Erie. The plaintiffs requested that the Court certify this action as a money damages class action under Rule 23(b)(3). In the alternative, the plaintiffs sought partial certification under Rule 23(c)(4). The court held in favor plaintiff and found that all the requirements for class certification had been met. 269 F.R.D. 213, 219. But, the court defined two separate classes for the Erie County Holding Center and Erie County Correctional Facility, respectively, based on its finding that the two facilities did not share enough commonality due to the different procedures each had in place. 269 F.R.D. 213.

However, in 2010, the Supreme Court courted decided Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, 132 S.Ct. 1510 (2012), and held that searches in a New Jersey jail did not violate the Fourth or Fourteenth Amendments. In response, the plaintiffs in this case submitted a brief distinguishing this case from Florence. The plaintiffs argued that the strip searches in Florence were private, individual searches, while the searches in this case were in groups. (In ECHC, class members were searched in groups of three in a shower area, and in ECCF, class members were searched in larger groups in a large common room). The plaintiffs further argued that the Florence decision was limited to the facts addressed in that case.

The Court instructed the parties to provide a joint submission regarding the procedural posture of this action based on the Florence decision, but the parties did not reach an agreement. Instead, on May 23, 2012, the plaintiffs requested that the Court allow the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint.

As of March 22, 2016, the court had not ruled on the request for leave to file an amended complaint and no other action has occurred in the case.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (3/5/2008)

Soojin Cha (3/22/2016)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4680081/parties/pritchard-v-the-county-of-erie/


Judge(s)

Arcara, Richard Joseph (New York)

Cardamone, Joseph R. (New York)

Curtin, John Thomas (New York)

Jacobs, Russell Winston (New York)

Miner, Roger Jeffrey (New York)

Scott, Hugh B. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barnett, Alexander E. (New York)

Coler, Alexandra (District of Columbia)

Cuneo, Jonathan W. (District of Columbia)

Jay, David G. (New York)

Judge(s)

Arcara, Richard Joseph (New York)

Cardamone, Joseph R. (New York)

Curtin, John Thomas (New York)

Jacobs, Russell Winston (New York)

Miner, Roger Jeffrey (New York)

Scott, Hugh B. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barnett, Alexander E. (New York)

Coler, Alexandra (District of Columbia)

Cuneo, Jonathan W. (District of Columbia)

Jay, David G. (New York)

Keach, Elmer Robert III (New York)

LaDuca, Charles Joseph (District of Columbia)

Mason, Gary E. (District of Columbia)

Menken, Bruce E. (New York)

Migliaccio, Nicholas A. (District of Columbia)

Rozger, Jason J. (New York)

Schneider, Charles A. (District of Columbia)

Schumann-McGhee, Bethany (New York)

Thompson, Brendan S (Maryland)

Warren, Alexandra C. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Boron, Eric T. (New York)

D'Agostino, Thomas C. (New York)

Domagalski, James Paul (New York)

Driscoll, Michael C. (New York)

Gaglione, Frank T. (New York)

Kirkpatrick, Thomas F Jr. (New York)

Parker, Michelle M (New York)

Schapp, Jonathan (New York)

Wheaton, Kristin Klein (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Pritchard v. The County of Erie

May 23, 2012 Docket
1

Class Action Complaint

Pritchard et al v. The County of Erie et al

July 21, 2004 Complaint
15

Stipulation and Order [Withdrawing Cross-Claims]

Pritchard et al v. The County of Erie et al

June 23, 2005 Order/Opinion
52

Order [Re: Motions to Compel, for Protective Order, etc.]

Pritchard et al v. The County of Erie et al

Sept. 26, 2005 Order/Opinion
53

[Protective] Order

Pritchard et al v. The County of Erie et al

Sept. 26, 2005 Order/Opinion
78

Order [Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Production of Docs]

Pritchard et al v. The County of Erie et al

2006 WL 3858475

Jan. 4, 2006 Order/Opinion
103

Order [Granting Motion to Compel]

Pritchard et al v. The County of Erie et al

March 20, 2006 Order/Opinion
106

[Order Affirming Order of 01/04/06]

2006 WL 3872844, 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 94775

April 17, 2006 Order/Opinion
114

Order [Re: Plaintiff's Motion to Compel]

Pritchard et al v. The County of Erie et al

2006 WL 1455484

May 22, 2006 Order/Opinion

Opinion [Motion for Protective Order; Motion to Compel]

Pritchard, et al v. The County of Erie, et al

2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 42984

June 26, 2006 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4680081/pritchard-v-the-county-of-erie/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link

Summons Issued

July 21, 2004 PACER
1

Complaint

July 21, 2004 PACER

Update Answer Due Date

Aug. 20, 2004 PACER
2

Stipulation and Order

Aug. 20, 2004 PACER
3

Answer to Complaint

Sept. 16, 2004 PACER
4

Answer to Complaint

Sept. 16, 2004 PACER

Notice of Hearing

Oct. 7, 2004 PACER

Notice (Other)

Oct. 21, 2004 PACER
5

Order Referring Case to Magistrate Judge

Dec. 13, 2004 PACER
6

Stipulation and Order

Dec. 21, 2004 PACER
7

Notice of Appearance

Jan. 3, 2005 PACER

E-Filing Notification

Jan. 31, 2005 PACER
8

Status Report

Jan. 31, 2005 PACER
9

Order

Feb. 3, 2005 PACER
10

Notice of Appearance

Feb. 11, 2005 PACER
11

Notice of Appearance

Feb. 11, 2005 PACER
12

Terminate Hearings

Feb. 23, 2005 PACER
13

Scheduling Order

Feb. 23, 2005 PACER
14

Terminate Hearings

April 14, 2005 PACER
15

Stipulation and Order

June 23, 2005 PACER
16

Motion to Compel

July 22, 2005 PACER
17

Affidavit

July 22, 2005 PACER
18

Order

July 25, 2005 PACER
19

Terminate Hearings

July 27, 2005 PACER

Remark

July 28, 2005 PACER
20

Notice of Change of Address

July 28, 2005 PACER
21

Terminate Hearings

Aug. 3, 2005 PACER
22

Motion to Compel

Aug. 9, 2005 PACER
23

Affidavit

Aug. 9, 2005 PACER

E-Filing Notification

Aug. 10, 2005 PACER
24

Affidavit of Service

Aug. 10, 2005 PACER
25

Motion to Compel

Aug. 11, 2005 PACER

Remark

Aug. 12, 2005 PACER

E-Filing Notification

Aug. 12, 2005 PACER
26

Certificate of Service

Aug. 12, 2005 PACER
27

Stipulation

Aug. 12, 2005 PACER
28

Order

Aug. 15, 2005 PACER

E-Filing Notification

Aug. 17, 2005 PACER
29

Memorandum in Opposition to Motion

Aug. 17, 2005 PACER
30

Affirmation

Aug. 17, 2005 PACER
31

Affirmation

Aug. 17, 2005 PACER
32

Certificate of Service

Aug. 17, 2005 PACER
33

Memorandum in Opposition to Motion

Aug. 17, 2005 PACER

Remark

Aug. 18, 2005 PACER
34

Terminate Deadlines and Hearings

Aug. 18, 2005 PACER
35

Certificate of Service

Aug. 18, 2005 PACER
36

Certificate of Service

Aug. 19, 2005 PACER
37

Certificate of Service

Aug. 19, 2005 PACER

E-Filing Notification

Aug. 22, 2005 PACER
38

Motion for Protective Order

Aug. 22, 2005 PACER
39

Affirmation

Aug. 22, 2005 PACER

E-Filing Notification

Aug. 23, 2005 PACER
40

Motion for Protective Order

Aug. 23, 2005 PACER
41

Affirmation

Aug. 23, 2005 PACER
42

Memorandum in Support

Aug. 23, 2005 PACER
43

Certificate of Service

Aug. 23, 2005 PACER
44

Notice of Hearing on Motion

Aug. 23, 2005 PACER

E-Filing Notification

Sept. 1, 2005 PACER
45

Reply/Response

Sept. 1, 2005 PACER
46

Certificate of Service

Sept. 1, 2005 PACER
47

Reply to Response to Motion

Sept. 1, 2005 PACER
48

Affidavit in Opposition to Motion

Sept. 1, 2005 PACER
49

Reply/Response

Sept. 16, 2005 PACER
50

Certificate of Service

Sept. 16, 2005 PACER
51

Terminate Hearings

Sept. 20, 2005 PACER
52

ORDER OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE HUGH B. SCOTTORDERGranting in part and denying in part 16 County Defendants' Motion to Compel (as detailed in the Order), granting 22 Gipson's Motion to Com pel, granting in part and denying in part 25 plaintiffs' Motion to Compel (as described in detail in the Order), granting in part and denying in part 40 County Defendants' Motion for Protective Order (also as described in the Order). Plaintiffs are either to produce requested disclosure and discovery on plaintiff Julenne Tucker or formally withdraw his claims within 30 days of entry of this Order.The Court will enter a protective Order regarding defendants' production of booking sheet information.Plaintiffs have until 12/20/2005 in which to file a class certification motion; this is the final extension of the class certification deadline.County Defendants to receive reasonable motion costs for Doc ket No. 16; Gipson is to receive some reasonable motion costs for Docket No. 22 (as described more fully in the Order); plaintiffs to receive some reasonable motion costs for Docket No. 25 (again, as described more fully in the Order). Parties are t o file and exchange their respective motion cost application affidavits five (5) business days from entry of this Order; the opposing parties may file a response within five (5) business days of service of that affidavit. No reply papers will be acc epted for the fee applications. The Court will deem the fee applications submitted as of the date for responding papers and issue an Order awarding costs. These sanctions shall be paid by respective counsel responsible for the expense.So Ordered. Signed by Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott on 9/26/2005. (DRH)

Sept. 26, 2005 RECAP
53

ORDER OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE HUGH B. SCOTTPROTECTIVE ORDERRegarding Docket No. 25, plaintiffs' motion to produce booking sheets. See Docket No. 52.Signed by Hon. Hugh B. Scott on 9/26/2005. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, Sworn Statement)(DRH)

2 Exhibit Sworn Statement Exhibit

View on PACER

Sept. 26, 2005 RECAP
54

Calendar Entry

Sept. 26, 2005 PACER
55

Stipulation

Sept. 30, 2005 PACER
56

ORDER OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE HUGH B. SCOTTORDER re 55 Stipulation filed by Adam Pritchard, Edward Robinson, Julenne TuckerThe Court declines to enter an Order adopting counsels' stipulation (Docket No. 55). Parties shall submit to the Court their respective motion costs. These Motions due by 10/21/2005. Responses to those submissions due by 10/28/2005. So Ordered. Signed by Hon. Hugh B. Scott on 10/11/2005. (DRH)

Oct. 11, 2005 RECAP
57

Order

Oct. 17, 2005 PACER
58

Terminate Hearings

Oct. 19, 2005 PACER
59

Affirmation

Oct. 21, 2005 PACER
60

Affidavit

Oct. 21, 2005 PACER
61

Certificate of Service

Oct. 21, 2005 PACER
62

Affirmation

Oct. 21, 2005 PACER

E-Filing Notification

Oct. 26, 2005 PACER
63

Motion for Extension of Time to File

Oct. 26, 2005 PACER

Set Deadlines/Hearings

Oct. 27, 2005 PACER
64

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File

Oct. 27, 2005 PACER
65

Affidavit

Oct. 28, 2005 PACER
66

Certificate of Service

Oct. 28, 2005 PACER
67

Affirmation

Oct. 28, 2005 PACER

E-Filing Notification

Nov. 4, 2005 PACER
68

Motion to Withdraw as Attorney

Nov. 4, 2005 PACER
69

Notice of Hearing on Motion

Nov. 7, 2005 PACER
70

Motion to Withdraw as Attorney

Nov. 10, 2005 PACER
71

ORDER OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE HUGH B. SCOTTORDER re 52 Order on Motion to Compel, Order on Motion for Protective Order, 56 Order, Set Deadlines, 58 Terminate Hearings, Status Conference, 59 Affirmation filed by H. McCarthy Gipson, 60 Affidavit filed by The County of Erie, 62 Affirmation, filed by Adam Pritchard, Edward Robinson, Julenne TuckerThe Court finds that each movant or opponent to the discovery motions was substantially justi fied in their respective position. Alternatively, under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(4)(C), the Court determines that each party should bear its own motion costs relative to their respective discovery motions. So Ordered. Signed by Hon. Hugh B. Scott on 11/14/2005. (DRH)

Nov. 14, 2005 RECAP
72

Affirmation

Nov. 28, 2005 PACER
73

Certificate of Service

Nov. 28, 2005 PACER
74

ORDER OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE HUGH B. SCOTTORDERPlaintiffs' counsel's letter application of 11/30/2005 to file an attorney's affirmation under seal relative to their pending motion ( see Docket Nos 68, 70) is denied. Plaintiffs' counsel may appeal this decision or withdraw the affirmation within five (5) business days of this Order. Absent any action by plaintiffs' counsel, the Court Clerk is instructed to file the affirmation. So Ordered. Signed by Hon. Hugh B. Scott on 12/6/2005. (DRH)

Dec. 6, 2005 RECAP
75

Order

Dec. 12, 2005 PACER

E-Filing Notification

Dec. 14, 2005 PACER
76

Affirmation

Dec. 16, 2005 PACER
77

Order on Motion to Withdraw as Attorney

Dec. 27, 2005 PACER
78

ORDER OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE HUGH B. SCOTTORDER re, 52 Order on Motion to Compel, Order on Motion for Protective Order, re 25 MOTION to Compel and for Protective Order, Leave to Intervene and Enlargement of T ime filed by Adam Pritchard, Edward Robinson, Julenne TuckerRegarding the in camera inspection of defendants' documents identified in the County Defendants' privilege log, as specified in the Order, some documents are deemed to be privileged, other documents are not and should be produced. Defendants shall make arrangements with Chambers to retrieve the in camera documents. So Ordered. Signed by Hon. Hugh B. Scott on 1/4/2006. (DRH)

Jan. 4, 2006 RECAP
79

Reply/Response

Jan. 19, 2006 PACER
80

Motion to Stay

Jan. 19, 2006 PACER
81

Memorandum in Support of Motion

Jan. 19, 2006 PACER
82

Order

Feb. 2, 2006 PACER

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 21, 2004

Case Ongoing: Perhaps, but long-dormant

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All persons, commencing July 10, 2001, who have been placed into the custody of the Erie County Correctional Facility and/or Holding Center after being charged with minor crimes absent reasonable suspicion of contraband or weapons.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

The County of Erie (Erie), County

Erie County Holding Center (Erie), County

Erie County Correctional Facility (Erie), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Search policies

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run