Case: Ward v. San Diego County

3:82-01386 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

Filed Date: Oct. 20, 1982

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Case Summary

This case was filed against the County of San Diego and its Sheriff by a woman who was strip searched at a county detention facility after her 1981 arrest on a misdemeanor offense. Plaintiff filed the case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, claiming the search, (including a visual body cavity search) conducted prior to a determination whether she could be released on her own recognizance violated her fourth amendment rights. In February 1983, the Distri…

This case was filed against the County of San Diego and its Sheriff by a woman who was strip searched at a county detention facility after her 1981 arrest on a misdemeanor offense. Plaintiff filed the case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, claiming the search, (including a visual body cavity search) conducted prior to a determination whether she could be released on her own recognizance violated her fourth amendment rights.

In February 1983, the District Court (Judge Gordon Thompson, Jr.) granted plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction and enjoined the sheriff from conducting strip searches. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judge Tang) vacated the injunction in March 1984 for lack of standing, and remanded the case for further proceedings. Ward v. San Diego County, 732 F.2d 165 (9th Cir. 1984).

On remand, the District Court (Judge Thompson) granted the sheriff's motion for summary judgment, finding that at the time of the search the law was not clearly established and so the sheriff enjoyed qualified immunity.

Plaintiff requested reconsideration, the District Court denied the request and the plaintiff appealed. Defendants claimed the Ninth Circuit lacked jurisdiction, because plaintiff's appeal was not from a final judgment, but rather a denial of a request for reconsideration. The appellate court disagreed, and treated the appeal as a timely appeal of the District Court's entry of judgment. The Court held that the law was clear enough that the sheriff could not claim qualified immunity, and that if the policy was found to be unreasonable, liability attached.

On June 16, 1986, the Circuit Court amended its earlier decision to address the jurisdictional issue and remanded for a determination whether the sheriff's blanket strip-search policy was reasonable. Ward v. San Diego County, 791 F.2d (9th Cir. 1986).

We have no further information about this case.

Summary Authors

Denise Heberle (3/28/2012)

People


Judge(s)

Goodwin, Alfred Theodore (California)

Jameson, Elizabeth J. (California)

Tang, Thomas (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Okrand, Fred (California)

Weingarten, George (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kossy, Phillip L. (California)

Judge(s)

Goodwin, Alfred Theodore (California)

Jameson, Elizabeth J. (California)

Tang, Thomas (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Okrand, Fred (California)

Weingarten, George (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kossy, Phillip L. (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

[Opinion]

Ward v. County of San Diego

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

783 F.2d 1385

March 3, 1986 Order/Opinion

[Opinion]

Ward v. San Diego, County

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

791 F.2d 1329

June 16, 1986 Order/Opinion

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 20, 1982

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Individual (female) arrested in 1981 for misdemeanor and then subjected to strip search and body cavity search at Los Colinas Womans Detention Facility.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

County of San Diego (San Diego, San Diego), County

Los Colinas Womans Detention Facility. (San Diego), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Government-run