Case: Rose v. Saginaw County

2:01-cv-10337 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: Oct. 9, 2001

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 9, 2001, a group of pre-trial detainees represented by private counsel filed a class action civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, challenging the naked confinement policy of the Saginaw County Jail. Plaintiffs alleged that, under the policy, the County Sheriff and deputies placed detainees they found to be uncooperative or disruptive in administrative segregation cells, after being stripped naked. Plainti…

On October 9, 2001, a group of pre-trial detainees represented by private counsel filed a class action civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, challenging the naked confinement policy of the Saginaw County Jail. Plaintiffs alleged that, under the policy, the County Sheriff and deputies placed detainees they found to be uncooperative or disruptive in administrative segregation cells, after being stripped naked. Plaintiffs further alleged that they were viewed while naked by jail personnel and inmates of the opposite gender. This policy, plaintiffs maintained, was unconstitutional. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief, monetary damages and class certification. Over the course of the litigation, the complaint was amended six times.

Following years of extensive discovery, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. Plaintiffs also sought a preliminary injunction. The District Court (District Judge David M. Lawson) held that the County's policy violated due process and was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment. The judge ruled that the sheriff and individual officers, however, were entitled to qualified immunity on the federal claims and absolute immunity on the state claims. The Court declined to enter a preliminary injunction. Rose v. Saginaw County, 353 F.Supp.2d 900 (E.D.Mich. 2005).

Plaintiffs then moved for class certification or to add new individual plaintiffs to the case. Defendants opposed certification and sought leave to add a defense that plaintiffs' claims were barred by exhaustion requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). Judge Lawson denied these motions, found that certification was inappropriate and that the PLRA did not apply to the case, as the plaintiffs were not confined when the suit was filed. Rose v. Saginaw County, 232 F.R.D. 267 (E.D. Mich. 2005).

In an attempt to broker a settlement, Judge Lawson referred the case to Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Duggan for a settlement conference and appointed former Wayne County, Michigan Circuit Judge Pamela Harwood as a facilitator to conduct a mediation session. Negotiations were broadened and the parties discussed a global settlement of four related cases - Rose v. Saginaw County, Brabant v. Saginaw County, Abner v. Saginaw County, and Whittum v. Saginaw County - in which there were approximately 94 plaintiffs. Settlement negotiations stalled and the defendants moved for sanctions and to dismiss the case, alleging that the individual plaintiffs failed to appear at settlement conferences and mediation. Plaintiffs maintained defendants' motion was without merrit, as plaintiffs' attorneys attended the various conferences with full authority to settle the case. Judge Lawson denied the defense motion by an unpublished order dated July 19, 2007.

The parties reached an agreement to resolve the individual plaintiffs' damage claims in Rose v. Saginaw County (case no. 01-10337) and two similar cases, Abner v. Saginaw County (case no. 05-10323), and Brabant v. Saginaw County (case no. 05-10030). Under the agreement, approved by Judge Lawson on January 11, 2008, a special case evaluation process was established to determine the monetary value of individual claims. Each plaintiff's claim would be evaluated by a three-attorney panel, consisting of a plaintiff specialist chosen by plaintiffs' counsel, a defense specialist chosen by defense counsel and the chairperson, retired state judge Harwood. The panel would recommend a settlement value for each claim, which would either be accepted or rejected by the parties. If the recommendation was rejected, the claim would be set for trial. The County agreed to pay plaintiffs' counsel a fee equal to thirty-percent (30%) of the amount of each case settled or tried to a conclusion, subject to a cap in the amount of $400,000 on the total amount of attorney's fees and costs claimed by the plaintiffs.

On March 10 and 12, 2008, several Plaintiffs accepted the court recommended settlement payouts, and their claims were dismissed with prejudice. Four plaintiffs rejected the settlement recommendations, went to trial and were awarded between $25,000 and $50,000 each by a jury on March 18, 2008. Judgment was entered on these jury verdicts on March 20, 2008. Due to the great amount of time between the initial complaint and the judgment, Plaintiffs moved for, and were granted interest on their damages dating back to the original complaints.

The remaining three Plaintiffs' claims were consolidated on March 20, 2008 to be included with James Abner, III v. Saginaw County, docket no. 05-10323, which was dismissed on February 17, 2010 for want of prosecution.

Summary Authors

Joshua Arocho (6/28/2012)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4773568/parties/rose-v-saginaw-cnty/


Judge(s)

Lawson, David M. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Fletcher, Loyst Jr. (Michigan)

Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)

Pianto, Christopher J. (Michigan)

Pitt, Michael L. (Michigan)

Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)

Wasinger, Stephen F. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

DeGrazia, James I. (Michigan)

Jensen, Peter C. (Michigan)

O'Neill, Paul T. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Lawson, David M. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Fletcher, Loyst Jr. (Michigan)

Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)

Pianto, Christopher J. (Michigan)

Pitt, Michael L. (Michigan)

Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)

Wasinger, Stephen F. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

DeGrazia, James I. (Michigan)

Jensen, Peter C. (Michigan)

O'Neill, Paul T. (Michigan)

Stokan, Richard V. (Michigan)

Tamm, James E. (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Feb. 26, 2009 Docket
17

Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint [...]

May 28, 2002 Complaint
29

Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint [...]

Sept. 3, 2002 Complaint
39

Plaintiff's Fifth Amended Complaint [...]

Oct. 18, 2002 Complaint
55

Plaintiff's Sixth Amended Complaint [...]

Dec. 9, 2002 Complaint
59

Answer to Plaintiffs' Sixth Amended Complaint

Dec. 24, 2002 Pleading / Motion / Brief
105

Defendants' Response Brief to Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment Establishing Liability

May 29, 2003 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Opinion and Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment [...]

353 F.Supp.2d 900

Jan. 25, 2005 Order/Opinion
172

Plaintiffs' Brief in Support of Motion for Class Certification or, in the Alternative, for Joinder and Continued Tolling

April 29, 2005 Pleading / Motion / Brief
203

Plaintiffs' Supplement Brief Addressing PLRA "Physical Injury" Issue

Nov. 10, 2005 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/...

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4773568/rose-v-saginaw-cnty/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
207

ORDER denying 172 Motion to Certify Class, denying 194 Motion for Leave to File, and scheduling status conference 12/15/05 at 2:00 p.m. Signed by Honorable David M Lawson. (SGam, )

Nov. 21, 2005 RECAP
220

ORDER denying without prejudice 218 Motion for substitution of party. Signed by Honorable David M Lawson. (SGam, )

Feb. 23, 2006 RECAP

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 9, 2001

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Detainees of the Saginaw County Jail in Saginaw, Michigan who were subjected to conduct in violation of their state and constitutional rights.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

Saginaw County (Saginaw), County

Saginaw County Jail (Saginaw), 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

Any published 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: Varies per plaintiff

Order Duration: 2008 - 0

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Administrative segregation

Search policies

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run