Case: Dodge v. Orange County

7:02-cv-00769 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Jan. 31, 2002

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 31, 2002, three plaintiffs represented by private New York-based attorneys filed a class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. They alleged that the Orange County Sheriff's Department had an unconstitutional blanket policy and/or practice of strip searching all individuals who entered the Orange County Correctional Facility (jail), including those charged with misdemeanors or held on civil matters,…

On January 31, 2002, three plaintiffs represented by private New York-based attorneys filed a class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. They alleged that the Orange County Sheriff's Department had an unconstitutional blanket policy and/or practice of strip searching all individuals who entered the Orange County Correctional Facility (jail), including those charged with misdemeanors or held on civil matters, regardless of the crime for which they were charged and without reasonable suspicion to believe that the individuals were concealing weapons or contraband. Under the policy, each detainee was allegedly forced to strip naked, bend over and/or squat, lift his/her genitals and spread the cheeks of his/her buttocks so that jail guards could complete a visual search of his/her body. Plaintiffs alleged that the policy violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. They sought a preliminary and permanent injunction, monetary damages, and class certification.

Defendants, the County and the Sheriff, answered by generally denying all allegations. Defendants also moved to dismiss the request for injunctive relief on standing grounds, as a new strip search policy was adopted at the jail in August 2001. The District Court (District Judge Colleen McMahon) denied the motion to dismiss and ordered a full evidentiary hearing. Dodge v. County of Orange, 208 F.R.D. 79 (S.D. N.Y. 2002). Following a hearing on June 24, 2002, the District Court granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification and issued a preliminary injunction. The injunction allowed defendants to conduct strip searches of newly-arrived inmates only when they had reason to believe the new arrival might be secreting contraband, based on (1) the nature of the crime charged; (2) the circumstances of the arrest; and (3) the particular characteristics of the arrestee. Dodge v. County of Orange, 209 F.R.D. 65 (S.D. N.Y. 2002). Judge McMahon ordered that the case proceed in two phases: (1) trial on liability (whether the policy was unconstitutional and whether a permanent injunction should be issued) and (2) damages.

On October 22, 2002, a second complaint, Rango v. County of Orange, 02 Civ. 8451 (S.D. N.Y. 2002) (" Rango ") was filed. The Rango plaintiffs purported to represent a class of pre-trial detainees charged with felonies who were admitted to the Orange County Correctional Facility ("OCCF") from January 1, 1999, to the present and allegedly strip searched in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Rango plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction soon after filing their complaint.

The Court consolidated the Dodge and Rango cases so that a single trial could be conducted on plaintiffs' requests for permanent injunctive relief in both cases. The consolidated trial was conducted over four days, between May 19 and May 28, 2003.

The Court found that the strip search policy violated the Fourth Amendment to extent that it allowed strip searches without individualized reasonable suspicion. Judge McMahon issued a permanent injunction against unconstitutional aspects of the county jail's policy. Dodge v. County of Orange, 282 F. Supp.2d 41 (S.D. N.Y. 2003). Orange County appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The appeal was dismissed in a summary decision later amended by the court, and the case remanded to the District Court for a determination as to whether plaintiffs had standing (e.g., a likelihood of future harm from the wrongful official policy) to pursue injunctive relief. Dodge v. County of Orange, 99 Fed. Appx. 347 (2nd Cir. 2004), opinion amended and superseded by Dodge v. County of Orange, 103 Fed. Appx. 688 (2nd Cir. 2004).

On remand, plaintiffs withdrew their claim for injunctive relief. They sought decertification of the injunctive class and certification of a class, or classes, of plaintiffs for purposes of recovering damages. Defendants opposed the new damages class request. Judge McMahon bifurcated the liability and damages phases of the cases and certified the classes only on the issue of liability - the constitutionality of the strip search policy. Dodge v. County of Orange, 226 F.R.D. 177 (S.D. N.Y. 2005). Following certification, settlement negotiations ensued and the parties entered into a proposed Settlement Agreement.

Under the Settlement Agreement, Orange County agreed to pay $624,800 into a fund for payment of class claims. Of that amount, $10,000 was to be divided among the class representatives. Eligible felony detainees were to receive $100.00 each. Eligible non-felony detainees were to receive $1,000, unless they met certain reduction criteria, in which case they would receive $250. The County also agreed to pay class counsel attorneys' fees in the amount of $600,000.

On March 2, 2006, the Court preliminarily approved the Settlement Agreement and set the matter for a fairness hearing on June 9, 2006. Final approval was granted for the settlement by Judge McMahon on June 26, 2006.

We have no information that post-settlement activity occurred in the case.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (2/26/2008)

Related Cases

Murcia v. Orange County, Southern District of New York (2000)

People


Judge(s)

McMahon, Colleen (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Isseks, Robert Nathan (New York)

Monroe, James Edward (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Darwin, David L. (New York)

Fedorchak, James M. (New York)

Groban, Robert S. Jr. (New York)

Sanabria , Christina M. (New York)

Judge(s)

McMahon, Colleen (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Isseks, Robert Nathan (New York)

Monroe, James Edward (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Darwin, David L. (New York)

Fedorchak, James M. (New York)

Groban, Robert S. Jr. (New York)

Sanabria , Christina M. (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Rango v. Count of Orange

Feb. 9, 2006 Docket

Docket (PACER)

Dodge v. County of Orange

July 10, 2006 Docket
25

Memorandum and Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Request for a Preliminary Injunction Hearing and Ordering a Hearing Regarding Rule 23(B)(2) Certification

Dodge v. County of Orange

208 F.R.D. 79

May 29, 2002 Order/Opinion
28

Opinion

209 F.R.D. 65

July 24, 2002 Order/Opinion
71

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Following Trial

Dodge v. County of Orange

282 F.Supp.2d 41

Sept. 10, 2003 Order/Opinion
98

Decision and Order on Plaintiffs’ Motion for to Decertify the Rule 23(B)(2) Class in this Action and Certify a Class or Subclasses Under Rule 23(B)(3)

Dodge v. County of Orange

266 F.R.D. 177

Jan. 27, 2005 Order/Opinion

Settlement Agreement

Dodge v. County of Orange

Feb. 1, 2006 Settlement Agreement

Docket

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT filed. Summons issued and Notice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636(c). FILING FEE $ 150.00 RECEIPT # 454175. (sv) (Entered: 10/24/2002)

Oct. 22, 2002

CASE REFERRED TO Judge Colleen McMahon as possibly related to 7:02cv769, 7:00cv2749, 7:00cv1325. (sv) (Entered: 10/24/2002)

Oct. 22, 2002

Case accepted as related to 02cv769, 00cv2749 and 00cv1325 . Notice of assignment to follow. (sv) (Entered: 10/31/2002)

Oct. 30, 2002
2

Notice of Case assignment to Judge Colleen McMahon . Copy of notice and judge's rules mailed to Attorney(s) of record: James Edward Monroe . (sv) (Entered: 10/31/2002)

Oct. 30, 2002
3

RETURN OF SERVICE of Summons & Complaint executed as to Count of Orange by leaving with Renee Hoover, Paralegal for County Attorney's Office for the County of Orange by Heather Woodruff on 11/1/02. Answer due on 11/21/02 for Count of Orange. (dc) (Entered: 11/07/2002)

Nov. 6, 2002
4

RETURN OF SERVICE of Summons & Complaint executed as to Frank H. Bigger by leaving with Captain Barry, Authorized to accept papers for Sheriff H. Frank Bigger at Orange County Sherriff's Department, 110 Wells Farm Road, Goshen, NY 10924, by Heather Woodruff on 11/1/02. Answer due on 11/21/02 for Frank H. Bigger. (dc) (Entered: 11/07/2002)

Nov. 6, 2002
5

Memo-Endorsement on letter addressed to Judge McMahon from James E. Monroe, dated November 8, 2002. Re: seeking Preliminary Innunctiom to enjoim defts, pendente lite, from the enforcement of their written strip-search policy as applied to felony detainees admitted to teh Orange County Correctional Facility. ENDORSED: There is a procedure for serving orders to show cause, and this is not it. I will not sign an order to show cause without all suppoprting papaers - where are they? ( signed by Judge Colleen McMahon ); (sv) (Entered: 11/13/2002)

Nov. 8, 2002
6

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE by Samuel Rango, Jarrod H. Mann, Rocco Manniello Show Cause Hearing set for 3:00 11/22/02 for preliminary injunction pursuant to FRCP 65(a) enjoining, pendente lite, the abover-named dfts and all those in active concert or participation with them from strip-searching felony detainees upon their admission to the Orange COunty Correctional Facility in the absence of a particularized reasonable suspicion to believe that the detainee has contraband secreted on his/her person, until a hearing and determination of the merits of this action.. . ( signed by Judge Colleen McMahon ); Copies mailed by Clerk's Office (pf) Modified on 11/13/2002 (Entered: 11/13/2002)

Nov. 13, 2002
7

MEMORANDUM OF LAW by Samuel Rango, Jarrod H. Mann, Rocco Manniello in support of [6-1] motion for preliminary injunction pursuant to FRCP 65(a) enjoining, pendente lite, the abover-named dfts and all those in active concert or participation with them from strip-searching felony detainees upon their admission to the Orange COunty Correctional Facility in the absence of a particularized reasonable suspicion to believe that the detainee has contraband secreted on his/her person, until a hearing and determination of the merits of this action.. . (pf) (Entered: 11/13/2002)

Nov. 13, 2002
8

AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE of Order to Show Cause, Memo and Affidavit as to Count of Orange, Frank H. Bigger by Lisa Lear on 11/8/02 . Answer due on 11/29/02 for Count of Orange, for Frank H. Bigger . Served by mailing to County Attys Office , 255 Main Street, Goshen, NY (pf) (Entered: 11/13/2002)

Nov. 13, 2002
9

MEMORANDUM OF LAW by Count of Orange, Frank H. Bigger in opposition to [6-1] motion for preliminary injunction pursuant to FRCP 65(a) enjoining, pendente lite, the abover-named dfts and all those in active concert or participation with them from strip-searching felony detainees upon their admission to the Orange COunty Correctional Facility in the absence of a particularized reasonable suspicion to believe that the detainee has contraband secreted on his/her person, until a hearing and determination of the merits of this action.. . (sv) (Entered: 11/22/2002)

Nov. 21, 2002
10

DECLARATION of Joseph G. Ryan by Count of Orange, Frank H. Bigger Re: [6-1] motion for preliminary injunction pursuant to FRCP 65(a) enjoining, pendente lite, the abover-named dfts and all those in active concert or participation with them from strip-searching felony detainees upon their admission to the Orange COunty Correctional Facility in the absence of a particularized reasonable suspicion to believe that the detainee has contraband secreted on his/her person, until a hearing and determination of the merits of this action.. . (sv) (Entered: 11/22/2002)

Nov. 21, 2002
11

DECLARATION of Ernest C. Weber by Count of Orange, Frank H. Bigger Re: visual body search procedures at the Orange County Correctional Facility . (sv) (Entered: 11/22/2002)

Nov. 21, 2002
12

Memorandum to Docket Clerk: 11/22/02 - Parties Present. Decision: Hearing Held. Plaintiff given 10 days to reply to deft's opposition papers. (dc) (Entered: 11/25/2002)

Nov. 22, 2002
13

NOTICE OF MOTION by Count of Orange, Frank H. Bigger to dismiss . No Return Date. (fk) (Entered: 12/02/2002)

Dec. 2, 2002
14

MEMORANDUM OF LAW by Count of Orange, Frank H. Bigger in support of [13-1] motion to dismiss . (fk) (Entered: 12/02/2002)

Dec. 2, 2002
15

Transcript of record of proceedings before Judge Colleen McMahon for the date(s) of 11/22/01. Court Reporter: Christina Arends-Dieck (pf) (Entered: 12/27/2002)

Dec. 27, 2002
16

STIPULATION and ORDER of CONFIDENTIALITY; WHEREAS, the Defenants County of Orange and Sheriff H. Frank Bigger, in his official capacity only have agreed to make available for inspaction certain confidential, proprietary, classified and/or private documents responsive to Plaintiffs' First Request For Documents and Things and Plaintiffs' First Demand for Interrogatories, and..... (see document for details). . ( signed by Judge Colleen McMahon ) clk/m/cpys. (sv) (Entered: 02/27/2003)

Feb. 26, 2003

Endorsed Letter filed by James M. Fedorchak: requesting that Gregory Vidler be admitted pro hac vice: ENDORSED: granted - get the paperwork in ASAP. So Orderd Judge Colleen McMahon. (sv) (Entered: 04/08/2003)

April 7, 2003

Letter filed by Robert S. Groban, Jr.; writing in support of James Fedorchak's April 4, 2003 letter to the Court requesting that an attorney, Gregory Vidler be admitted pro hac vice... (sv) (Entered: 04/08/2003)

April 7, 2003

ORDER (Calendar Notice) (orginal document filed in 02cv769 with doc# 55); Please take notice that the above captioned matter has been scheduled for Pre-trial conference before the Honorable Colleen McMahon, United States District Judge, on Thursday, May 1, 2003 at 10:00am. So Ordered ( signed by Judge Colleen McMahon ); clk/m/cpys. (sv) (Entered: 04/22/2003)

April 21, 2003

Transcript of record of proceedings before Judge Colleen McMahon for the date(s) of May 1, 2003. Original document filed in 02Cv769. (sv) (Entered: 05/08/2003)

May 8, 2003

Consolidated Member Case. Lead Case Number: 7:02cv769. (dcr) (Entered: 05/13/2003)

May 12, 2003

Case closed. (ll) (Entered: 09/19/2003)

May 12, 2003

Transcript of record of proceedings before Judge Colleen McMahon for the date(s) of 5/19/03. Court Reporter: Albi Gorn. (see document #61 in case 7:02cv769 (CM)) (pf) (Entered: 06/30/2003)

June 30, 2003
17

True Copy of Order from the USCA as to Count of Orange, Frank H. Bigger RE:...ordered that the stay pending appeal is granted. The motion to expedite the appeal is denied(signed by Roseann B. MacKechnie, Clerk) . (mov) (Entered: 10/22/2003)

Oct. 21, 2003
18

Notice that the index to the record on appeal has been certified and transmitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals: (cg) (Entered: 11/19/2003)

Nov. 18, 2003

Notice that the index to the record on appeal has been certified and transmitted to the usca on this date. The record will be retained by the usdc until further instructions from the usca. (cg) (Entered: 11/19/2003)

Nov. 18, 2003
19

SCHEDULING ORDER: Pretrial Conference set for 8/6/2004 10:30 AM before Judge Colleen McMahon. (Signed by Judge Colleen McMahon on 06/30/04) (fk, ) (Entered: 07/09/2004)

June 30, 2004

CALENDAR NOTICE: Please take notice that the above captioned actions have been rescheduled for conference before the Honorable Colleen McMahon, USDJ, on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 at 10:30 am in courtroom 521, U.S. District Coiurt, 300 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601. SO ORDERED: (Signed by Colleen McMahon, USDJ) (See original in Case# 00cv1325, Doc#87) (dcr, ) (Entered: 08/03/2004)

July 26, 2004
20

MOTION Re-certifying this class action. Document filed by Jarrod H. Mann, Rocco Manniello, Samuel Rango. (fk, ) (Entered: 09/14/2004)

Sept. 7, 2004
21

MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Support re: [89] MOTION re-certifying this class action, pursuant to Fed. R.Civ. P. 23(b)(3) comprising of the subclasses (a) all felony detainess who were remanded to the custody of the Orange County Jail on or after Jan. 31, 1999 and strip searched upon their admissi. Document filed by Anthony Dodge, Peter A. Machado, Jarrod H. Mann, Rocco Manniello, Joseph Petriello, Samuel Rango. Filed In Associated Cases: 7:02-cv-00769-CM,7:02-cv-08451-CM(ll, ) (Entered: 10/25/2004)

Oct. 25, 2004
22

MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Opposition re: [89] MOTION re-certifying this class action, pursuant to Fed. R.Civ. P. 23(b)(3) comprising of the subclasses (a) all felony detainess who were remanded to the custody of the Orange County Jail on or after Jan. 31, 1999 and strip searched upon their admissi. Document filed by County of Orange. Filed In Associated Cases: 7:02-cv-00769-CM,7:02-cv-08451-CM(ll, ) (Entered: 12/13/2004)

Dec. 13, 2004
23

DECLARATION of Robert S. Groban, Jr. in Opposition re: [89] MOTION re-certifying this class action, pursuant to Fed. R.Civ. P. 23(b)(3) comprising of the subclasses (a) all felony detainess who were remanded to the custody of the Orange County Jail on or after Jan. 31, 1999 and strip searched upon their admissi. Document filed by County of Orange. Filed In Associated Cases: 7:02-cv-00769-CM,7:02-cv-08451-CM(ll, ) (Entered: 12/13/2004)

Dec. 13, 2004
24

DECLARATION of JOSEPH G. RYAN in Opposition re: [89] MOTION re-certifying this class action, pursuant to Fed. R.Civ. P. 23(b)(3) comprising of the subclasses (a) all felony detainess who were remanded to the custody of the Orange County Jail on or after Jan. 31, 1999 and strip searched upon their admissi. Document filed by County of Orange. Filed In Associated Cases: 7:02-cv-00769-CM,7:02-cv-08451-CM(ll, ) (Entered: 12/13/2004)

Dec. 13, 2004
25

AFFIDAVIT of James E. Monroe. Document filed by Jarrod H. Mann, Rocco Manniello, Samuel Rango. (mde, ) (Entered: 12/27/2004)

Dec. 22, 2004
26

MEMORANDUM OF LAW In Reply To Dfts' Opposition To Rule 23(B)(3) Class Certification. Document filed by Jarrod H. Mann, Rocco Manniello, Samuel Rango. (mde, ) (Entered: 12/27/2004)

Dec. 22, 2004

TRANSCRIPT of proceedings held on 9/14/04 Court Reporter: Angela O'Donnell. Please see 02cv769 for Transcript.(cg, ) (Entered: 01/07/2005)

Jan. 7, 2005
27

DECISION AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR TO DECERTIFY THE RULE 23(B)(2) CLASSIN THIS ACTION AND CERTIFY A CLASS OR SUBCLASSES UNDER RULE 23(B)(3). [89] Motion. (Signed by Judge Colleen McMahon on 1/27/05) Filed In Associated Cases: 7:02-cv-00769-CM,7:02-cv-08451-CM(fk, ) (Entered: 01/31/2005)

Jan. 27, 2005
28

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge Colleen McMahon from James E. Monroe dated 2/7/05 re: Parties requests that the plaintiffs' proposed Notice not be issued to the class until 4/1/05; Adjournment granted. (Signed by Judge Colleen McMahon on 2/9/05) Filed In Associated Cases: 7:02-cv-00769-CM,7:02-cv-08451-CM(ae, ) (Orig. doc. filed in case no. 02 cv 769, as doc. #99) (Entered: 02/14/2005)

Feb. 9, 2005

STIPULATION AND ORDER that defendants' time to respond to the plaintiffs' proposed Notice to the Class is extended to and including 3/15/05 and that Notice to the class will not be issued until after 4/1/05. (Signed by Judge Colleen McMahon on 3/1/05) Filed In Associated Cases: 7:02-cv-00769-CM,7:02-cv-08451-CM(ae, ) (Orig. doc. filed in case no. 02 cv 769, as doc. #100) (Entered: 03/02/2005)

March 1, 2005

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Colleen McMahon : Pretrial Conference held on 2/9/2006. Parties to submit Settlement Agreement to Court by 2/28/2006. (Submitted by Jim O'Neill). (mde, ) (Entered: 02/09/2006)

Feb. 9, 2006

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 31, 2002

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All pre-trial detainees placed in custody of the Orange County Sheriff's Office on or after 1/31/99 and strip-searched upon their arrival at the Orange County Jail pursuant to dfts' uniform strip-search.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

County of Orange (Orange), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Search policies

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run