Case: Bull v. City and County of San Francisco

3:03-cv-01840 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Filed Date: April 23, 2003

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 23, 2003, nine plaintiffs, acting through private attorneys, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging the strip search policy of the City and County of San Francisco ("CCSF"). Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that, under CCSF policy, all prisoners who were placed in the general jail population at the CCSF's jails were subjected to strip and visual body cavity searches, with those refusing to consent b…

On April 23, 2003, nine plaintiffs, acting through private attorneys, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging the strip search policy of the City and County of San Francisco ("CCSF"). Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that, under CCSF policy, all prisoners who were placed in the general jail population at the CCSF's jails were subjected to strip and visual body cavity searches, with those refusing to consent being placed naked in "cold rooms." Plaintiffs complained that this policy violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution as well as several provisions of California state law.

Although Defendants generally denied the allegations, the policy at issue was discontinued by the Sheriff on January 21, 2004.

On June 10, 2004, the District Court certified a plaintiff class consisting of all persons who were arrested "on any charge not involving weapons, controlled substances, or a charge of violence, and not involving a violation of parole or a violation of probation (where consent to search is a condition of such probation), and who were subjected to a blanket visual body cavity strip search by defendants before arraignment at a San Francisco County jail facility without any individualized reasonable suspicion that they were concealing contraband."

Discovery followed and the Court was called upon to resolve several discovery disputes. See Bull v. City and County of San Francisco, 2003 WL 23857823 (N.D.Cal. Oct 27, 2003); Bull v. City and County of San Francisco, 2005 WL 40072 (N.D.Cal. Jan 05, 2005).

On June 24, 2005, Plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment with respect to the issue of whether the Sheriff's blanket policy of subjecting certain categories of plaintiff-arrestees to pre-arraignment strip searches, violated the Fourth Amendment. Defendants opposed Plaintiffs' motion and filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, arguing, in part, that the Sheriff was entitled to the defense of qualified immunity. The District Court issued a September 22, 2005 Memorandum and Order, which it subsequently amended on February 23, 2006, in order to grant in part and deny in part both parties' motions for summary judgment.

Specifically, the Court found that Defendants' former blanket policy of conducting strip searches without regard to individualized suspicion was unconstitutional as applied to members of the plaintiff-class who were (a) classified for housing in the general jail population; (b) probation violators for whom consent to search was not a condition of probation; or (c) certain categories of safety-cell detainees. With regard to the Defendants' former policy of strip searching (a) arrestees with a criminal history relating to drugs, weapons or violence; (b) arrestees who were transferred to or from other jurisdictions; or (c) certain other types of safety-cell detainees, however, the Court granted summary judgment for Defendants, concluding that such searches were justified under the reasonable suspicion standard. The court also granted the Sheriff's motion for qualified immunity with regard to safety cell searches, criminal history searches, and consent searches but denied the motion with regard to classification searches. The Court also dismissed the claims of named plaintiffs Jonah Zern and Marcie Corneau, because it determined that the violent nature of their crimes provided reasonable suspicion for their strip searches. Bull v. City & County of San Francisco, 2006 WL 449148 (N.D.Cal. Feb 23, 2006).

The defendants filed an appeal, but lost in the 9th Circuit in an opinion by Circuit Judge Sydney Thomas. 539 F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 2008). Judge Tallman dissented; Judge Ikuta concurred, noting his "grave concern" that the holding, though compelled by prior 9th Circuit case law, stood in tension with Supreme Court precedent and might endanger the safety of people in the jail system subject to harm by jail contraband.

On a petition for rehearing, the Court vacated the panel's decision and set the case for reargument before 11 judges. 558 F.3d 887 (9th Cir. 2009). Argument occurred in March 2009.

On February 9, 2010, the 9th Circuit issued its opinion en banc, holding that the San Francisco strip search policy was reasonable and did not violate the class members' Fourth Amendment rights. The case was held in abeyance, pending the United States Supreme Court's decision in Florence v. County of Burlington (posted in the Clearinghouse as JC-NJ-0022.)

On April 2, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court in Florence held that a blanket policy of strip searching detainees does not violate the Fourth or Fourteenth Amendments, whether or not there is reasonable suspicion that the detainee is concealing contraband, and regardless of the severity of the charges under which he or she is being held. Florence v. Burlington County, 132 S.Ct. 1510 (2012). In their April 19th Joint Case Management Statement, the parties debated the scope of this decision's impact on the present case.

After a status conference, the case was referred to Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero for settlement on April 20, 2012. On June 14, 2012, the Court approved a stipulation to extend the plaintiff's deadline for filing a motion to redefine the class until September 15, 2012. After deciding that the Supreme Court's decision in Florence was not applicable to this case, the parties settled, and on June 28, 2013, the Court dismissed the case and approved the settlement agreement. The agreement required defendants to pay $450,000 to plaintiffs and to pay for the cost of notifying the class of the dismissal. Though one member of the class objected to the settlement, as of January 31, 2018, there has been no other activity after the dismissal. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Timothy Shoffner (6/17/2012)

Maurice Youkanna (7/5/2014)

Related Cases

Yourke v. City & County of San Francisco, Northern District of California (2003)

Flick v. San Francisco, California, Northern District of California (2003)

Amador v. Baca, Central District of California (2010)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4165328/parties/bull-v-city-and-county-of-san-francisco/


Judge(s)

Breyer, Charles R. (California)

Chen, Edward Milton (California)

Ikuta, Sandra Segal (California)

Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (District of Columbia)

Tallman, Richard C. (Washington)

Thomas, Sidney Runyan (Montana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Liberty, Micha Star (California)

Merin, Mark E. (California)

Schwartz, Andrew Charles (California)

Schwarzschild, Jeffrey I. (California)

Judge(s)

Breyer, Charles R. (California)

Chen, Edward Milton (California)

Ikuta, Sandra Segal (California)

Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (District of Columbia)

Tallman, Richard C. (Washington)

Thomas, Sidney Runyan (Montana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Liberty, Micha Star (California)

Merin, Mark E. (California)

Schwartz, Andrew Charles (California)

Schwarzschild, Jeffrey I. (California)

Seaton, Thomas Andrew (California)

Williams, Cathleen A. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bonta, Robert A. (California)

Choi, Jennifer E. (California)

Evans, Ingrid M. (California)

Herrera, Dennis J. (California)

Hoeper, Joanne (California)

Kaiser, Sherri Sokeland (California)

Katz, Rebecca Lynn (California)

Newdorf, David Blake (California)

Other Attorney(s)

Haddad, Michael J. (California)

Henning, Jennifer B. (California)

Mayer, Martin J. (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

April 4, 2013 Docket
1

Class Action Complaint

April 23, 2003 Complaint
33

Order Granting Defendant's Motion to Compel Production of Documents and Denying Motion for Protective Order

2003 WL 23857823

Oct. 27, 2003 Order/Opinion
55

First Amended Class Action Complaint

Jan. 12, 2004 Complaint
58

Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Compel Interrogatory No. 1 and Denying Interrogatory No. 9 and Production of Documents No. 5, Set One

Jan. 13, 2004 Order/Opinion
60-1

Request for Preliminary Injunction

Jan. 21, 2004 Pleading / Motion / Brief
62-1

Defendants' Answer to Plaintiffs' First Amended Class Action Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial

Jan. 22, 2004 Pleading / Motion / Brief
63

Cross Complaint by Defendants [] for Declaratory Relief

Jan. 22, 2004 Complaint
92-1

Defendants' Notice of Motion and Motion for Summary Judgment and Supporting Memorandum of Points and Authorities

March 5, 2004 Pleading / Motion / Brief
124

Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on Cross-Complaint for Declaratory Judgment

March 19, 2004 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Title Description External URL

Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants

Margo Schlanger

This article looks at jail strip-search litigation and its participants, to analyze its internal dynamics. Among the interesting features of these cases is that many different kinds of lawyers work … April 1, 2008 https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1466&context=lcp

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4165328/bull-v-city-and-county-of-san-francisco/

Last updated May 19, 2022, 11:29 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

Complaint

April 23, 2003 RECAP
2

ADR Scheduling Order

1 Order setting CMC

View on PACER

2 Special Notice

View on PACER

April 23, 2003 PACER
3

Clerks Notice re: Failure to E-File and Register

May 29, 2003 PACER
4

June 2, 2003 PACER
5

Order

June 3, 2003 PACER
6

Notice (Other)

June 3, 2003 PACER
7

Clerks Notice re: Failure to E-File and Register

June 3, 2003 PACER
8

Clerks Notice re: Failure to E-File and Register

June 4, 2003 PACER
9

Answer to Complaint

June 6, 2003 PACER
10

Summons Returned Executed

June 6, 2003 PACER
11

Notice (Other)

June 26, 2003 PACER
12

Association of Counsel

June 30, 2003 PACER
13

Joint Case Management Statement

July 17, 2003 PACER
14

Case Management Conference - Initial

July 28, 2003 PACER
15

Notice of Appearance

Sept. 3, 2003 PACER
16

Oct. 9, 2003 PACER
17

Declaration in Support

Oct. 9, 2003 PACER
18

Memorandum in Support

Oct. 9, 2003 PACER
19

Proposed Order

Oct. 9, 2003 PACER
20

Order Referring Case to Magistrate Judge for Discovery

Oct. 10, 2003 PACER
21

Stipulation and Order

Oct. 14, 2003 PACER
22

Declaration in Opposition

Oct. 17, 2003 PACER
23

Declaration in Opposition

Oct. 17, 2003 PACER
24

Declaration in Opposition

Oct. 17, 2003 PACER
25

Response ( Non Motion )

Oct. 17, 2003 PACER
26

Declaration in Opposition

Oct. 17, 2003 PACER
27

Certificate of Service

Oct. 17, 2003 PACER
28

Clerks Notice re: Failure to E-File and Register

Oct. 20, 2003 PACER
29

Order

Oct. 20, 2003 PACER
30

Declaration in Support

Oct. 21, 2003 PACER
31

Reply to Opposition

Oct. 21, 2003 PACER
32

Motion Hearing

Oct. 24, 2003 PACER
33

Order

Oct. 27, 2003 PACER
34

Order Relating Case

Nov. 3, 2003 PACER
35

Nov. 4, 2003 PACER
36

Order Relating Case

Nov. 6, 2003 PACER
37

Nov. 7, 2003 PACER
38

Nov. 10, 2003 PACER
39

Order

Nov. 18, 2003 PACER
40

Motion to Compel

Nov. 19, 2003 PACER
41

Memorandum in Support

Nov. 19, 2003 PACER
42

Declaration in Support

Nov. 19, 2003 PACER
43

Proposed Order

Nov. 19, 2003 PACER
44

Clerks Notice Continuing Motion Hearing

Nov. 20, 2003 PACER
45

Clerks Notice Continuing Motion Hearing

Nov. 20, 2003 PACER
46

Transcript

Nov. 21, 2003 PACER
47

Memorandum in Opposition

Dec. 3, 2003 PACER
48

Exhibits

Dec. 3, 2003 PACER
49

Exhibits

Dec. 3, 2003 PACER
50

Reply to Opposition

Dec. 10, 2003 PACER
51

Declaration in Support

1 Exhibit J

View on PACER

Dec. 10, 2003 PACER
52

Notice (Other)

Dec. 30, 2003 PACER
53

Motion Hearing

Jan. 8, 2004 PACER
54

Stipulation

Jan. 12, 2004 PACER
55

Amended Complaint

Jan. 12, 2004 PACER
56

Certificate of Service

Jan. 12, 2004 PACER
57

Stipulation and Order

Jan. 13, 2004 PACER
58

Order on Motion to Compel

Jan. 13, 2004 PACER
59

Ex Parte Application

Jan. 16, 2004 PACER
61

Letter Brief

Jan. 20, 2004 PACER
60

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

1 Declaration

View on PACER

2 Manual Filing Notifications

View on PACER

3 Proposed Order

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4 Declaration

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5 Declaration

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7 Declaration

View on PACER

8 Declaration

View on PACER

9 Declaration

View on PACER

10 Declaration

View on PACER

11 Proof of Service

View on PACER

Jan. 21, 2004 PACER
67

Notice (Other)

Jan. 21, 2004 PACER
68

Declaration in Support

Jan. 21, 2004 PACER
62

Answer to Amended Complaint

1 demand for jury trial

View on PACER

Jan. 22, 2004 PACER
63

Crossclaim

Jan. 22, 2004 PACER
64

Memorandum in Opposition

Jan. 22, 2004 PACER
65

Declaration in Support

Jan. 22, 2004 PACER
66

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

1 Proof of Service

View on PACER

Jan. 22, 2004 PACER
69

Declaration in Opposition

Jan. 23, 2004 PACER
70

Association of Counsel

Jan. 27, 2004 PACER
71

Association of Counsel

Jan. 27, 2004 PACER
72

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Feb. 3, 2004 PACER
73

Order Setting Hearing on Motion

Feb. 4, 2004 PACER
74

Feb. 5, 2004 PACER
75

Answer to Crossclaim

Feb. 11, 2004 PACER
76

Order Setting Hearing on Motion

Feb. 11, 2004 PACER
77

Clerks Notice Continuing Motion Hearing

Feb. 11, 2004 PACER
78

Clerks Notice re: Failure to E-File and Register

Feb. 12, 2004 PACER
79

Motion to Compel

Feb. 12, 2004 PACER
80

Notice (Other)

Feb. 12, 2004 PACER
81

Declaration in Support

1 Exhibit Exhibit A to Schwarzschild Declaration

View on PACER

Feb. 12, 2004 PACER
82

Declaration in Support

1 Exhibit A to Merin Declaration

View on PACER

2 Exhibit B to Merin Declaration

View on PACER

3 Exhibit C to Merin Declaration

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4 Exhibit D to Merin Declaration

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5 Exhibit E to Merin Declaration

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6 Exhibit F to Merin Declaration

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7 Exhibit G to Merin Declaration

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8 Exhibit H to Merin Declaration

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9 Exhibit I to Merin Declaration

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10 Exhibit J to Merin Declaration

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11 Exhibit K to Merin Declaration

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12 Exhibit L to Merin Declaration

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13 Exhibit M to Merin Declaration

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14 Exhibit N to Merin Declaration

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15 Exhibit O to Merin Declaration

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Feb. 12, 2004 PACER
83

Proposed Order

Feb. 12, 2004 PACER
84

Certificate of Service

Feb. 12, 2004 PACER
85

Order

Feb. 20, 2004 PACER
86

Clerks Notice Continuing Motion Hearing

Feb. 23, 2004 PACER
87

Motion to Certify Class

March 5, 2004 PACER
88

Declaration in Support

1 Exhibit Jail Policy E-03

View on PACER

2 Exhibit Excerpts from Depo of Dyer 11/12/03

View on PACER

3 Exhibit Memo of Captain Dyer, Bates No. Bull CCSF 00145

View on PACER

4 Exhibit Strip Search Authorization Forms - Samples

View on PACER

5 Exhibit Excerpts from Depo of Humphrey 12/2/03

View on PACER

6 Exhibit Excerpts from Depo of Cotton 11/3/03

View on PACER

7 Exhibit Excerpts from Depo of Roth 12/3/03

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8 Exhibit Excerpts from Depo of Dempsey 12/1/03

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9 Exhibit Excerpts from Depo of Zern 12/23/03

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10 Exhibit Declarations in Support of Plts' Mtn for Preliminary Injunction

View on PACER

March 5, 2004 PACER
89

Declaration in Support

March 5, 2004 PACER
90

Proposed Order

March 5, 2004 PACER
91

Certificate of Service

March 5, 2004 PACER
92

Renotice motion hearing

1 Proposed Order GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGEMENT

View on PACER

2 Signature Page (Declarations/Stipulations) DECLARATION OF INGRID M EVANS IN SUPP

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3 Exhibit A TO DEC OF IME SUPPORT OF MSJ

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4 Exhibit B-TO DEC OF IME SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' MSJ

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5 Exhibit C-DEC OF IME IN SUPPORT OF DEF MSJ

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6 Exhibit D-DEC OF IME IN SUPPORT OF DEF MSJ

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7 Exhibit F-DEC OF IME IN SPPORT OF DEF MSJ

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8 Exhibit F-DEC OF IME IN SUPPORT OF DEF MSJ

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9 Exhibit G-DEC OF IME IN SUPPORT OF DEF MSJ

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March 5, 2004 PACER
93

Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

March 5, 2004 PACER
94

Proposed Order

March 5, 2004 PACER
95

Memorandum in Opposition

March 10, 2004 PACER
96

Affidavit in Opposition to Motion

1 Exhibit A (William Roth depo excerpts)

View on PACER

2 Exhibit B (3/10/2004 letter to counsel)

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3 Exhibit C (2/11/2004 Letter to counsel)

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March 10, 2004 PACER
97

Motion to Shorten Time

March 12, 2004 PACER
98

Certificate of Service

March 12, 2004 PACER
99

Motion to Amend/Correct

March 12, 2004 PACER
100

Declaration in Support

1 Exhibit Exhibit A to Declaration of Merin

View on PACER

2 Exhibit Exhibit B to Declaration of Merin

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3 Exhibit Exhibit C to Declaration of Merin

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4 Exhibit Exhibit D to Declaration of Merin

View on PACER

March 12, 2004 PACER

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 23, 2003

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All persons who from 2/10/00 - present were arrested and subjected to a pre-arraignment strip search at the San Francisco Jail without defendants having a reasonable suspicion that the search would be productive of contraband or weapons.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

City of San Francisco, City

County of San Francisco, County

San Francisco County Sheriff's Department (San Francisco), County

San Francisco County Sheriff's Deputies (San Francisco), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

U.S. Supreme Court merits opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $460,000

Issues

General:

Search policies

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run