Case: Rodriguez v. Dona Ana County

1:06-cv-00416 | U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico

Filed Date: May 16, 2006

Closed Date: May 20, 2008

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 16, 2006 a juvenile detainee filed a class action civil rights suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, challenging the strip search policy of the Dona Ana County Juvenile Detention Center. Plaintiff alleged that the County and officials in charge of Juvenile Detention Center had a blanket policy of strip searching all pre-arraignment detainees upon their arrival at the Juvenile Detention Center, regardless of the offense charged, or whethe…

On May 16, 2006 a juvenile detainee filed a class action civil rights suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, challenging the strip search policy of the Dona Ana County Juvenile Detention Center. Plaintiff alleged that the County and officials in charge of Juvenile Detention Center had a blanket policy of strip searching all pre-arraignment detainees upon their arrival at the Juvenile Detention Center, regardless of the offense charged, or whether there was any suspicion that the detainee possessed weapons or contraband. The plaintiff, who was strip searched pursuant to this policy, alleged that that the policy violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages, declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification. The County and Detention Center officials generally denied the allegations.

Shortly after the suit was filed, the District Court (Judge Judith C. Herrera) stayed the proceedings at the request of the parties so that they could pursue settlement negotiations. Plaintiff's attorney had filed a similar class action on behalf of adult detainees that were strip searched at the Dona Ana County. See JC-NM-0004: Lira v. Dona Ana County. Negotiations were conducted on both the adult and juvenile cases. On November 21, 2007, Judge William Johnson consolidated both cases, designating Lira as the lead case.

Shortly after the consolidation, the parties filed an Amended Stipulation of Settlement, under which the Defendants agreed to pay $5.3 million to resolve all class claims. The stipulated Adult Settlement Class included all detainees who were strip searched between March 7, 2003 and March 7, 2006 at the Dona Ana County Jail prior to arraignment. The stipulated Juvenile Settlement class included all detainees who were strip searched between May 16, 2003 and May 16, 2006 at the Dona Ana Juvenile Detention Center. It was estimated that there were approximately 11,000 class members. Individual claims were to be paid per an agreed upon distribution formula, with the range of expected pay-outs per individual claimant was estimated at $1,200 to $2,400. Representative plaintiffs would receive a total $200,000 or $25,000 per class representative. $1,666,667 of the settlement fund was allocated for attorneys' fees.

Judge Johnson preliminarily approved the settlement on December 20, 2007.

On May 20, 2008, the district court (Judge Johnson) issued a final approval of the settlement and a final judgment of dismissal in the case. In 2011, the parties filed a Joint Motion to allow disbursement of remaining funds to two non-profit entities. Although most of the funds had been successfully distributed, about $22,000 remained for claimants the administrator could not reach. The court granted the motion.

Summary Authors

Elizabeth Daligga (7/27/2012)

Related Cases

Lira v. Dona Ana County, District of New Mexico (2006)

People


Judge(s)

Garza, Carmen E. (New Mexico)

Herrera, Judith C. (New Mexico)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bienvenu, John C. (New Mexico)

Donatelli, Mark H. (New Mexico)

Lilley, Jess R. (New Mexico)

Rothstein, Robert R. (New Mexico)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Carrillo, Raul A. Jr. (New Mexico)

Werkmeister, H. Nicole (New Mexico)

Wihl, Kurt (New Mexico)

Judge(s)

Garza, Carmen E. (New Mexico)

Herrera, Judith C. (New Mexico)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bienvenu, John C. (New Mexico)

Donatelli, Mark H. (New Mexico)

Lilley, Jess R. (New Mexico)

Rothstein, Robert R. (New Mexico)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Carrillo, Raul A. Jr. (New Mexico)

Werkmeister, H. Nicole (New Mexico)

Wihl, Kurt (New Mexico)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:06-cv-00416

Docket [PACER]

June 25, 2007

June 25, 2007

Docket
1

1:06-cv-00416

Class Action Complaint

May 16, 2006

May 16, 2006

Complaint
46-2

1:06-00179

Amended Stipulation for Settlement

Nov. 25, 2007

Nov. 25, 2007

Settlement Agreement
66

1:06-00179

Joint Motion for Approval of Final Distribution of Settlement Proceeds

Lira v. Dona Ana County Board of Commissioners

April 8, 2011

April 8, 2011

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 18, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT (0 Summons(es) issued) (referred to Magistrate Judge Robert H. Scott) (yc) (Entered: 05/17/2006)

May 16, 2006

May 16, 2006

2

ENTRY OF APPEARANCE for defts by Raul A. Carrillo Jr. & H. Nicole Werkmeister (nc) (Entered: 06/15/2006)

June 14, 2006

June 14, 2006

3

ACCEPTANCE OF SERVICE by defendants on 6/14/06 (dmw) (Entered: 06/15/2006)

June 14, 2006

June 14, 2006

4

REQUEST for status conference by plaintiff (yc) (Entered: 07/12/2006)

July 12, 2006

July 12, 2006

5

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Robert H. Scott denying parties request for stay [4-1]; defts may file an answer or responsive pleading by 08/31/06 Rule 16 scheduling conference set for 10/02/06 at 2:00 pm (cc: all counsel*) (ln) Modified on 07/28/2006 (Entered: 07/26/2006)

July 26, 2006

July 26, 2006

6

INITIAL SCHEDULING ORDER by Magistrate Judge Robert H. Scott Rule 16 scheduling conference set on 10/02/06 at 2:00 pm; provisional discovery plan and IPTR due 09/25/06 (cc: all counsel*) (ln) (Entered: 07/26/2006)

July 26, 2006

July 26, 2006

7

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Robert H. Scott Rule 16 scheduling conference set for 10/02/06 is vacated (cc: all counsel*) (ln) (Entered: 08/29/2006)

Aug. 29, 2006

Aug. 29, 2006

8

ANSWER by defendants [1-1] (dmw) (Entered: 09/01/2006)

Aug. 31, 2006

Aug. 31, 2006

9

MINUTE ORDER: Case referred from Magistrate Judge Scott to Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza (cc: all counsel)* (dmw) (Entered: 09/01/2006)

Sept. 1, 2006

Sept. 1, 2006

10

PROVISIONAL DISCOVERY PLAN by the parties* (ln) (Entered: 09/12/2006)

Sept. 12, 2006

Sept. 12, 2006

11

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza Telephonic Rule 16 initial scheduling conference is rescheduled for 10/03/06 at 1:30 pm (cc: all counsel*) (ln) (Entered: 09/15/2006)

Sept. 15, 2006

Sept. 15, 2006

12

NOTICE of change of address by defts' attorney Raul Carrillo (ln) (Entered: 09/18/2006)

Sept. 18, 2006

Sept. 18, 2006

13

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by pltf re Initial Disclosures to defts on 09/25/06* (ln) (Entered: 09/25/2006)

Sept. 25, 2006

Sept. 25, 2006

14

CLERK'S MINUTES: before Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza Telephonic Rule 16 scheduling conference held on 10/03/06 * (ln) (Entered: 10/05/2006)

Oct. 5, 2006

Oct. 5, 2006

15

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza Telephonic Status conference set for 01/09/07 at 1:30 pm (cc: all counsel*) (ln) (Entered: 10/05/2006)

Oct. 5, 2006

Oct. 5, 2006

16

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza adopting provisional discovery plan [10-1] Discovery cutoff 05/31/07; Motion Filing cutoff 06/30/07; Pretrial order ddl 08/29/07; Status hearing set for 01/09/07 at 1:30 pm (cc: all counsel*) (ln) (Entered: 10/05/2006)

Oct. 5, 2006

Oct. 5, 2006

17

CERTIFICATE of service by defts of their initial disclosures were mailed to opposing counsel on 10/5/06 (yc) (Entered: 10/05/2006)

Oct. 5, 2006

Oct. 5, 2006

18

INITIAL PRE-TRIAL REPORT by District Judge Judith C. Herrera and Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza; Discovery set for 5/31/07; mtn filing ddl set for 6/30/07; proposed pretrial order due 8/29/07; pretrial conference set for 11/1/07 at 2:00 pm; jury trial set for 11/13/07 at 9:00 am; Estimated # of Trial Days: minimum of 3 wks.; Chances of Settlement: unknown (cc: all counsel) (ln) Modified on 10/17/2006 (Entered: 10/06/2006)

Oct. 6, 2006

Oct. 6, 2006

19

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza , Case stayed through February 28, 2007 re [19-2] (cc: all counsel) (rlc) (Entered: 12/26/2006)

Dec. 26, 2006

Dec. 26, 2006

20

Clerk's Minutes for proceedings held before Judge Carmen E. Garza : Status Conference held on 1/09/2007. (Court Reporter none.) (Castle-Diaz, Tracy) (Entered: 01/10/2007)

Jan. 10, 2007

Jan. 10, 2007

21

NOTICE of Telephonic Status Conference: Status Conference set for 2/28/2007 01:30 PM in Las Cruces - Judge Carmen E. Garza Chambers before Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza. (Castle-Diaz, Tracy) (Entered: 02/27/2007)

Feb. 27, 2007

Feb. 27, 2007

22

Clerk's Minutes for proceedings held before Judge Carmen E. Garza : Status Conference held on 2/28/2007. (Castle-Diaz, Tracy) (Entered: 02/28/2007)

Feb. 28, 2007

Feb. 28, 2007

23

Unopposed MOTION to Stay Continuation by Dona Ana County Commissioners, Board of. (Carrillo, Raul) (Entered: 05/03/2007)

May 3, 2007

May 3, 2007

24

NOTICE by Dona Ana County Commissioners, Board of Change of Law Firm Name (Carrillo, Raul) (Entered: 05/03/2007)

May 3, 2007

May 3, 2007

25

ORDER by Judge Judith C. Herrera granting 23 Motion to Stay (ln) (Entered: 05/08/2007)

May 8, 2007

May 8, 2007

26

ORDER by Judge Carmen E. Garza Status Conference set for 6/22/2007 10:30 AM in Las Cruces - Judge Carmen E. Garza Chambers before Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza. (tc) (Entered: 06/08/2007)

June 8, 2007

June 8, 2007

27

Clerk's Minutes for proceedings held before Judge Carmen E. Garza : Status Conference held on 6/22/2007. (tc) (Entered: 06/25/2007)

June 25, 2007

June 25, 2007

28

ORDER by Judge Carmen E. Garza Telephonic Status Conference set for 7/23/2007 02:00 PM in Las Cruces - Judge Carmen E. Garza Chambers before Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Garza. (tc) (Entered: 06/25/2007)

June 25, 2007

June 25, 2007

Case Details

State / Territory: New Mexico

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 16, 2006

Closing Date: May 20, 2008

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All persons from May 16, 2003 to May 16, 2006 who were strip searched at the Dona Ana County Juvenile Detention Center without individualized reasonable suspicion that they were carrying contraband.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Dona Ana County (Doña Ana), County

Dona Ana County (Doña Ana), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 5,300,000.00

Issues

General:

Juveniles

Search policies

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run