Case: Skurstenis v. Jones

2:98-cv-02295 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama

Filed Date: Sept. 9, 1998

Closed Date: April 5, 2001

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 9 1998, a woman arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in U.S. District Court for the North District of Alabama challenging the strip search policy of the Shelby County Jail. That policy required that each inmate be strip searched by a same sex jail staff member before being placed in a cell or detention room. Plaintiff alleged that following her arrest and booking at the Jail, she was ordered to disrobe, to turn and face the …

On September 9 1998, a woman arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in U.S. District Court for the North District of Alabama challenging the strip search policy of the Shelby County Jail. That policy required that each inmate be strip searched by a same sex jail staff member before being placed in a cell or detention room.

Plaintiff alleged that following her arrest and booking at the Jail, she was ordered to disrobe, to turn and face the wall, and to squat and cough in the presence of a female officer. The following morning prior to her release, a male nurse assistant at the Jail took a blood sample, ordered to pull down her pants and searched her pubic region for lice. Plaintiff alleged that both searches violated her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

After discovery was conducted, defendants moved for summary judgment on all claims.

The District Court (Judge William M. Acker, Jr.) granted defendants' motion in part, denied it in part, and certified its order for appeal. Skurstenis v. Jones, 81 F.Supp.2d 1228 (N.D.Ala. 1999). Judge Acker held that the initial strip search was unconstitutional, but that defendants were entitled to qualified immunity on the strip search claim. He denied the motion as to the lice inspection. Both parties appealed.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ( District Judge Vining) affirmed in part reversed in part and remanded the case. The Court found that the Jail's blank strip search policy of searching all inmates, without any reasonable suspicion, was unconstitutional. The initial strip search of plaintiff, however, was found to be justified as plaintiff was in possession of an unregistered handgun at the time of her arrest. Possession of a weapon provided the ``reasonable suspicion'' necessary to conduct a strip search. The Court also held that it was not inappropriate for medical personnel to conduct a strip

search of an inmate of the opposite sex, and determined that the lice inspection of plaintiff was therefore not unconstitutional. Skurstenis v. Jones, 236 F.3d 678 (11th Cir. 2000).

On remand,. the District Court (Judge Acker) dismissed plaintiff's remaining federal claims with prejudice and declined to further exercise jurisdiction over plaintiff's state-law claim for invasion of privacy and assault battery against the nurse assistant, dismissing those claims without prejudice. Skurstenis v. Jones, 139 F.Supp.2d 1291 (N.D.Ala. 2001).

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (8/8/2007)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5297433/parties/skurstenis-v-jones/


Judge(s)

Acker, William Marsh Jr. (Alabama)

Birch, Stanley F. Jr. (Georgia)

Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bennitt, Jeffrey William (Alabama)

Bufford-Bennitt, Robyn G. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Dodson, John W (Alabama)

Ellis, Frank C. Jr. (Alabama)

Foley, Claire White (Alabama)

Lee, Mark W. (Alabama)

Powell, Dorothy A. (Alabama)

Judge(s)

Acker, William Marsh Jr. (Alabama)

Birch, Stanley F. Jr. (Georgia)

Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bennitt, Jeffrey William (Alabama)

Bufford-Bennitt, Robyn G. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Dodson, John W (Alabama)

Ellis, Frank C. Jr. (Alabama)

Foley, Claire White (Alabama)

Lee, Mark W. (Alabama)

Powell, Dorothy A. (Alabama)

White, K. Claire (Alabama)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Vining, Robert L. Jr. (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:98-cv-02295

Docket (PACER)

Skurstenis v. Jones, et al

April 5, 2001

April 5, 2001

Docket
14

2:98-cv-02295

Order [Dismissing Shelby County]

Skurstenis v. Shelby County

Oct. 13, 1998

Oct. 13, 1998

Order/Opinion
15

2:98-cv-02295

Order [Dismissing Shelby Baptist as a Defendant]

Oct. 19, 1998

Oct. 19, 1998

Order/Opinion
39

2:98-cv-02295

Memorandum Decision

81 F.Supp.2d 1228

Dec. 20, 1999

Dec. 20, 1999

Order/Opinion
52

2:98-cv-02295

Memorandum Opinion [Denying Motion for S/J]

Jan. 19, 2000

Jan. 19, 2000

Order/Opinion

00-10122

00-11469

00-10603

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

236 F.3d 678

Dec. 28, 2000

Dec. 28, 2000

Order/Opinion

00-10122

00-11469

00-10603

Opinion [Denial of Rehearing En Banc]

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

252 F.3d 444

March 14, 2001

March 14, 2001

Order/Opinion
63

2:98-cv-02295

Memorandum Opinion

139 F.Supp.2d 1291

April 5, 2001

April 5, 2001

Order/Opinion
64

2:98-cv-02295

Order [Dismissing Case]

April 5, 2001

April 5, 2001

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5297433/skurstenis-v-jones/

Last updated Aug. 24, 2022, 3:20 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT filed, amount paid $ 150, receipt # 200 130092 (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/10/1998)

Sept. 9, 1998

Sept. 9, 1998

39

MEMORANDUM opinion filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee)

Dec. 20, 1999

Dec. 20, 1999

RECAP
52

MEMORANDUM opinion filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee)

Jan. 19, 2000

Jan. 19, 2000

RECAP

SUMMONS and complaint issued mailed certified mail (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/10/1998)

Sept. 10, 1998

Sept. 10, 1998

3

SUMMONS and complaint returned executed: upon defendants Shelby County, James Jones, Wayne Watts, Jason Smitherman, Stacy Blankenship on 9/11/98 filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/14/1998)

Sept. 14, 1998

Sept. 14, 1998

4

SUMMONS and complaint returned executed: upon defendant Shelby Cty Baptist on 9/14/98 filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/16/1998)

Sept. 15, 1998

Sept. 15, 1998

5

Summons and Complaint returned unexecuted: upon defendant Jason Smitherman filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/17/1998)

Sept. 17, 1998

Sept. 17, 1998

6

MOTION by Shelby County to dismiss filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/29/1998)

Sept. 29, 1998

Sept. 29, 1998

7

ANSWER by dfts James Jones, Wayne Watts, Jason Smitherman, Stacy Blankenship w/appear by atty(s) John W Dodson, and Frank C Ellis Jr filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/29/1998)

Sept. 29, 1998

Sept. 29, 1998

8

ORDER that parties are reminded of obligation under Rules 26 and 16 of FRCP; if parties settle a jury case and fail to notify court in time to call off venirepersons jury costs will be taxed equally (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/30/1998)

Sept. 30, 1998

Sept. 30, 1998

9

MOTION by Shelby Cty Baptist to dismiss , alternatively for more definite statement filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 10/01/1998)

Sept. 30, 1998

Sept. 30, 1998

10

MOTION by plaintiff to amend complaint filed cs (TLM) (Entered: 10/12/1998)

Oct. 9, 1998

Oct. 9, 1998

11

REQUEST of plaintiff for alias service by certified mail on Jason Smitherman filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 10/13/1998)

Oct. 9, 1998

Oct. 9, 1998

12

10 - ORDER granting plff's motion to amend complaint [10-1] ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) entered cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 10/13/1998)

Oct. 13, 1998

Oct. 13, 1998

13

AMENDED complaint with jury demand filed by Sandy Skurstenis [1-1] filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 10/13/1998)

Oct. 13, 1998

Oct. 13, 1998

14

ORDER granting Shelby County's motion to dismiss [6-1]; action as against dft Shelby County, Alabama is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 10/13/1998)

Oct. 13, 1998

Oct. 13, 1998

DOCKET modification (utility event) to dismiss party Shelby County see docs # 6 and #14 (Former Employee) (Entered: 10/13/1998)

Oct. 13, 1998

Oct. 13, 1998

16

SUMMONS and complaint returned executed: upon defendant Jason Smitherman on 10/14/98 filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 10/20/1998)

Oct. 15, 1998

Oct. 15, 1998

15

ORDER granting Shelby Baptist's motion to dismiss [9-1], as to 1983 and is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE; Shelby Baptist's motion under the state tort theory of asault and battery as contained in Count II is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for lack of federal claim upon which to apend it filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 10/19/1998)

Oct. 19, 1998

Oct. 19, 1998

17

Report of Parties (form 35) of compliance with FRCP 26 filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 11/03/1998)

Nov. 2, 1998

Nov. 2, 1998

18

ORDER (scheduling) setting discovery deadline of 8/2/99 by Judge William M. Acker Jr entered cm (Former Employee) Modified on 01/21/1999 (Entered: 11/03/1998)

Nov. 3, 1998

Nov. 3, 1998

DOCKET modification (utility event) modifying case managment deadlines; setting Discovery cutoff 8/2/99 (SNH) (Entered: 01/21/1999)

Nov. 3, 1998

Nov. 3, 1998

19

MOTION by dft's James Jones, Wayne Watts, Jason Smitherman and Stacy Blankenship to extend time to name expert filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/02/1999)

Feb. 1, 1999

Feb. 1, 1999

20

19 - ORDER granting motion to extend time to name expert [19-1] ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) entered cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/03/1999)

Feb. 3, 1999

Feb. 3, 1999

21

MOTION by pla Sandy Skurstenis to amend filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/19/1999)

Feb. 17, 1999

Feb. 17, 1999

22

OPPOSITION by dft's James Jones, Wayne Watts, Jason Smitherman, Stacy Blankenship to motion to amend [21-1] filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 03/10/1999)

March 9, 1999

March 9, 1999

23

ORDER that pla if she so desires has by 4:30 p.m. on 3/19/99 to submit her memo brief re this court's jurisdiction over the proposed dft; dfts if they so desire may file any brief(s) in response by 4:30 p.m. on 3/26/99 filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (CTS) (Entered: 03/12/1999)

March 12, 1999

March 12, 1999

24

Supplemental Memorandum BRIEF by pla Sandy Skurstenis (deemed filed 3/18/99), filed at the direction of the court cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 04/19/1999)

April 19, 1999

April 19, 1999

25

21 - ORDER granting motion to amend [21-1] ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) entered cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 04/19/1999)

April 19, 1999

April 19, 1999

26

AMENDED complaint filed by pla Sandy Skurstenis; jury demand; adding T O Richey and reinstating Shelby County Baptist Hospital, filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 04/20/1999)

April 20, 1999

April 20, 1999

27

REQUEST of pla for service by certified mail for dft T.O. Richey,filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 04/20/1999)

April 20, 1999

April 20, 1999

SUMMONS and complaint issued mailed certified mail (Former Employee) (Entered: 04/20/1999)

April 20, 1999

April 20, 1999

28

SUMMONS and complaint returned executed: upon defendant T O Richey on 4/21/99 filed (BST) (Entered: 04/22/1999)

April 22, 1999

April 22, 1999

29

Summons and Complaint returned unexecuted: upon defendant T O Richey filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 04/28/1999)

April 28, 1999

April 28, 1999

31

ORDER reciting this courts Rule 12(b) position, filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 04/29/1999)

April 29, 1999

April 29, 1999

ALIAS summons issued as to dft T O Richey del pla (Former Employee) (Entered: 07/23/1999)

July 22, 1999

July 22, 1999

32

SUMMONS and complaint returned executed: upon dft T O Richey on 7/30/99 filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 08/04/1999)

Aug. 2, 1999

Aug. 2, 1999

33

MOTION by dft's James Jones, Wayne Watts, Jason Smitherman and Stacy Blankenship for summary judgment with brief attached thereon, filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 08/31/1999)

Aug. 27, 1999

Aug. 27, 1999

34

ORDER (Submission) that the motion for summary judgment [33-1] is submitted 9/23/99 ; affidavits and briefs to be filed by 9/7/99, Responsive Brfs Due by 9/21/99, Reply Brfs Due by 9/23/99 , filed ( Judge William M. Acker Jr ) motion docket 9/23/99 @ 4:30 cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 08/31/1999)

Aug. 31, 1999

Aug. 31, 1999

35

BRIEF by pla Sandy Skurstenis in response to dft's motion for summary judgment filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/22/1999)

Sept. 21, 1999

Sept. 21, 1999

36

SUBMISSION of discovery by pla Sandy Skurstenis filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/22/1999)

Sept. 21, 1999

Sept. 21, 1999

37

Reply BRIEF by dft's James Jones, Wayne Watts, Jason Smitherman, Stacy Blankenship, Shelby Cty Baptist, T O Richey filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 09/24/1999)

Sept. 23, 1999

Sept. 23, 1999

38

RESPONSE by pla Sandy Skurstenis to dft's reply brief [37-1] filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 10/21/1999)

Oct. 20, 1999

Oct. 20, 1999

40

ORDER adopting memorandum opinion [39-1], granting motion for summary judgment [33-1] to dismiss party Stacy Blankenship, party Jason Smitherman, party Wayne Watts , and ; Pretrial Conf set for 1:30 1/21/00 filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 12/20/1999)

Dec. 20, 1999

Dec. 20, 1999

41

ANSWER by dft T O Richey w/appear by atty(s) Mark W Lee, Dorothy A Powell filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 12/21/1999)

Dec. 20, 1999

Dec. 20, 1999

42

ORDER ; Pretrial Conf scheduled for 1/21/00 is CANCELLED filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 12/21/1999)

Dec. 21, 1999

Dec. 21, 1999

43

ORDER that the Order entered 12/20/99 is hereby AMENDED w/corrected memorandum opinion attached to be substituted for memorandum opinion entered 12/20/99, filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (SRJ) (Entered: 12/28/1999)

Dec. 28, 1999

Dec. 28, 1999

44

Amendment to ANSWER by dft T O Richey filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 12/29/1999)

Dec. 28, 1999

Dec. 28, 1999

46

ORDER terminating motion to stay [45-1], granting motion to vacate its orders of 12/20/99 and 12/28/99 [45-2], vacating orders [43-1],[40-1] filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 12/30/1999)

Dec. 30, 1999

Dec. 30, 1999

47

NOTICE of appeal by plaintiff Sandy Skurstenis from District Court decision [43-1] ; notice of appeal, order appealed from and court copy of docket entries w/transmittal letter mailed cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 01/04/2000)

Jan. 3, 2000

Jan. 3, 2000

48

MOTION by dft T O Richey to extend time for filing motion for summary judgment until 1/14/00 filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 01/10/2000)

Jan. 10, 2000

Jan. 10, 2000

49

ORDER granting motion to extend time for filing motion for summary judgment until 1/14/00 [48-1] ; stating order that is subject of interlocutory appeal has been vacated, filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 01/11/2000)

Jan. 11, 2000

Jan. 11, 2000

50

MOTION by dft T O Richey for summary judgment filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 01/14/2000)

Jan. 14, 2000

Jan. 14, 2000

51

BRIEF by dft T O Richey in support of motion for summary judgment, filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 01/14/2000)

Jan. 14, 2000

Jan. 14, 2000

NOTIFICATION by Circuit Court of Appellate docket number 00-10122D (Former Employee) (Entered: 01/20/2000)

Jan. 18, 2000

Jan. 18, 2000

53

ORDER adopting memorandum opinion [52-1], Denying Motion for summary judgment by T.O. Richey; reinstating order entered on 12/28/99 as amended [43-1] pretrial conference tentatively scheduled for 1/21/00 is CANCELLED filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee) Modified on 02/03/2000 (Entered: 01/19/2000)

Jan. 19, 2000

Jan. 19, 2000

DOCKET modification (utility event) denying motion for summary judgment [50-1] pursuant to doc#53 (Former Employee) (Entered: 01/19/2000)

Jan. 19, 2000

Jan. 19, 2000

54

MOTION by pla Sandy Skurstenis for order for district court certification filed cs (Former Employee) (Entered: 01/27/2000)

Jan. 27, 2000

Jan. 27, 2000

55

54 - ORDER finding the motion for order for district court certification [54-1] moot - already done ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) entered cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 01/27/2000)

Jan. 27, 2000

Jan. 27, 2000

57

NOTICE of appeal by defendant T O Richey from District Court decision [53-1] ; notice of appeal, order appealed from and court copy of docket entries w/transmittal letter mailed cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/03/2000)

Feb. 1, 2000

Feb. 1, 2000

58

Appeal Information Sheet filed [57-1] (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/03/2000)

Feb. 1, 2000

Feb. 1, 2000

56

Appeal Information Sheet filed [47-1] (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/03/2000)

Feb. 2, 2000

Feb. 2, 2000

NOTIFICATION by Circuit Court of Appellate docket number 00-10603DD (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/10/2000)

Feb. 10, 2000

Feb. 10, 2000

59

NOTICE of appeal by defendant James Jones from District Court decision [53-1] ; notice of appeal, order appealed from and court copy of docket entries w/transmittal letter mailed cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/11/2000)

Feb. 10, 2000

Feb. 10, 2000

APPEAL fee received in amount of $ 105.00 receipt #200 147859 (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/11/2000)

Feb. 11, 2000

Feb. 11, 2000

APPEAL fee received in amount of $ 105.00 receipt #200 147890 (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/14/2000)

Feb. 14, 2000

Feb. 14, 2000

60

Appeal Information Sheet filed [59-1] (Former Employee) (Entered: 02/23/2000)

Feb. 22, 2000

Feb. 22, 2000

61

CERTIFIED copy of Appellate Court order: Granting petition for permission to appeal pursuant to 29 USC 1292(B), Before: Anderson, Tjoflat and Dubina, filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 03/31/2000)

March 29, 2000

March 29, 2000

APPEAL fee received in amount of $ 105.00 receipt #200 150001 for appeal under Rule 1292(b) (Former Employee) (Entered: 04/24/2000)

April 24, 2000

April 24, 2000

CERTIFICATE of readiness issued, cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 05/18/2000)

May 18, 2000

May 18, 2000

CERTIFIED record on appeal with certified copy of docket, entries and transmittal mailed USCA cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 05/18/2000)

May 18, 2000

May 18, 2000

62

CERTIFIED copy of Appellate Court order: affirming in part; reversing in part and remanding in part the decision of the District Court [Appeal [57-1], [Appeal [47-1] before: TJOFLAT, BIRCH, AND VINING [issued as mandate] filed (Former Employee) (Entered: 03/29/2001)

March 28, 2001

March 28, 2001

64

ORDER in accordance with the madate of the 11th circuit [62-1] and in accordance with the memorandum [63-1] to dismiss case with prejudice insofar as it relies upon 42:1983 and insofar as it had not previosly been dismissed and without prejudice insofar as pla presents claims against dft T.O. Richey, under state-law, costs are taxed against pla, filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee) (Entered: 04/05/2001)

April 5, 2001

April 5, 2001

63

MEMORANDUM opinion filed ( by Judge William M. Acker Jr ) cm (Former Employee)

April 5, 2001

April 5, 2001

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Alabama

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 9, 1998

Closing Date: April 5, 2001

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Individual plaintiff arrested for alcohol-related charges subjected to two separate strip searches, one for contraband upon entering Shelby County Jail, and one for lice just before leaving the facility.

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Shelby County Baptist Hospital (Birmingham, Shelby), County

Shelby County (Shelby), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Search policies

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Government-run