Case: Helton v. United States

1:01-cv-00385 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: Feb. 20, 2001

Closed Date: 2002

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 20, 2001, five women who were arrested in connection with an "anti-fur" demonstration at a Washington, D.C. Neiman Marcus store filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Marshalls Service. Plaintiffs alleged that following their arrest, they were subjected to strip and squat searches without a reasonable individualized suspicion that they were concealing weapons or contraband. Plaintiffs further alleged that the Marshals Service routinely…

On February 20, 2001, five women who were arrested in connection with an "anti-fur" demonstration at a Washington, D.C. Neiman Marcus store filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Marshalls Service. Plaintiffs alleged that following their arrest, they were subjected to strip and squat searches without a reasonable individualized suspicion that they were concealing weapons or contraband. Plaintiffs further alleged that the Marshals Service routinely subjected women, but not men, to pre-arraignment strip and squat searches, as was the case with six men who were arrested with Plaintiffs but not searched. Plaintiffs proceeded under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and sought compensatory damages of one million dollars each.

The Government moved to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim. On March 21, 2002, the District Court (Judge Bates) granted the Government's motion in part and denied it in part, holding that Plaintiffs could not state a FTCA claim for wrongful arrest or violation of equal protection but that they could maintain a FTCA claim for invasion of privacy (specifically, the tort of intrusion upon seclusion). Helton v. U.S. 191 F.Supp.2d 179 (D.D.C. 2002).

On November 8, 2002, the parties entered into a Stipulation for Settlement and Dismissal. Under the terms of the settlement, each of the five plaintiffs (together with their attorneys) received $8,000, for a total settlement amount of $40,000.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (2/5/2008)

People


Judge(s)

Bates, John D. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Day, Sean Robert (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Howard, Roscoe (District of Columbia)

Manning, Meredith (District of Columbia)

Nagle, Mark Earl (District of Columbia)

Sullivan, Diane M. (District of Columbia)

Wainstein, Kenneth L. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Bates, John D. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Day, Sean Robert (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Howard, Roscoe (District of Columbia)

Manning, Meredith (District of Columbia)

Nagle, Mark Earl (District of Columbia)

Sullivan, Diane M. (District of Columbia)

Wainstein, Kenneth L. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Helton, et al v. USA, et al

Nov. 8, 2002 Docket
6

Memorandum Opinion [Re: Motion to Dismiss]

191 F.Supp.2d 179

March 21, 2002 Order/Opinion
17

Stipulation of Settlement and Order of Dismissal

Nov. 8, 2002 Settlement Agreement

Docket

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT filed by plaintiff SHAUNA HELTON, plaintiff NANCY HEY, plaintiff ARIANA HUEMER, plaintiff VANESSA SACKS, plaintiff SANDRA SMALLWOOD (tth) (Entered: 02/21/2001)

Feb. 20, 2001

SUMMONS (3) issued to federal party(s) federal defendant USA, federal defendant US MARSHAL SERVICE , and non-parties: U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General. (tth) (Entered: 02/21/2001)

Feb. 20, 2001
2

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE for federal defendant USA by Meredith Manning (cas) (Entered: 05/16/2001)

May 15, 2001
3

MOTION filed by federal defendant USA to dismiss complaint [1-1] (cas) (Entered: 05/16/2001)

May 15, 2001
4

RESPONSE by plaintiffs' in opposition to motion to dismiss complaint [1-1] [3-1] by USA . (jf) (Entered: 05/25/2001)

May 24, 2001

CASE REASSIGNED from Judge Royce C. Lamberth to Judge John D. Bates (nmr) (Entered: 01/25/2002)

Jan. 25, 2002
6

MEMORANDUM OPINION by Judge John D. Bates (N) (tb) (Entered: 03/21/2002)

March 21, 2002
7

ORDER by Judge John D. Bates : granting in part claims for an unlawful search, alleged denial of equal protection , denying in part motion to dismiss complaint for claims for invasion of privacy, specificcally the tort of intrusion upon seclusion [1-1] [3-1] (N) (tb) (Entered: 03/21/2002)

March 21, 2002
8

SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL for federal defendants USA, federal US MARSHAL SERVICE , substituting Diane Marie Sullivan for attorney Meredith Manning (aet) (Entered: 03/26/2002)

March 21, 2002
9

ORDER by Judge John D. Bates : initial scheduling hearing set for 10:15 5/2/02; parties joint Rule 16.2 report due no later than fourteen(14) days following conference, or three(3) business days before initial scheduling conference (N) (tb) (Entered: 04/10/2002)

April 9, 2002
10

MEET AND CONFER STATEMENT/REPORT PURSUANT TO L.R. 16 filed by plaintiffs and federal defendants. (mpt) (Entered: 04/26/2002)

April 25, 2002
11

NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS for Sean Robert Day representing plaintiff SHAUNA HELTON, plaintiff NANCY HEY, plaintiff ARIANA HUEMER, plaintiff VANESSA SACKS, plaintiff SANDRA SMALLWOOD . New address: 8505 Baltimore Avenue, Suite B College Park MD 20740 301-220-2270. (rje) (Entered: 05/13/2002)

May 10, 2002
12

ORDER by Judge John D. Bates : parties shall provide Rule 26(a)(1) on or before 06/01/02; discovery closes 10/15/02 ; pleadings shall be amended or parties added by 10/15/02; plaintiff shall identify exper by 08/01/02 and defendant's by 09/01/02; dispositive motions due 11/15/02 ; response to dispositive motions due 12/15/02 ; reply to dispositive motions due 1/10/03 ; status hearing set for 9:30 9/23/02 ; pretrial conference set for 4:00 2/21/03 ; (N) (tb) (Entered: 05/14/2002)

May 13, 2002
13

MOTION (Consent) filed by federal defendant USA, federal defendant US MARSHAL SERVICE to extend time to 10/1/02 to designate an expert witness (rje) (Entered: 09/13/2002)

Sept. 12, 2002
14

ORDER by Judge John D. Bates : granting motion to extend time to 10/1/02 to designate an expert witness [13-1] by US MARSHAL SERVICE, USA designation due by 10/1/02 (N) (tb) (Entered: 09/16/2002)

Sept. 16, 2002
15

STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER by Judge John D. Bates ; setting forth procedures for handling confidential material; allowing designated material to be filed under seal. (N) (tb) Modified on 09/18/2002 (Entered: 09/18/2002)

Sept. 18, 2002

SCHEDULING NOTICE: status hearing set for 9:30 10/28/02 ; before Judge John D. Bates ; Courtroom 21. (tb) (Entered: 09/26/2002)

Sept. 23, 2002
17

STIPULATION OF SETTELMENT AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL with prejudice by Judge John D. Bates : (N) (tb) (Entered: 11/08/2002)

Nov. 8, 2002

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 20, 2001

Closing Date: 2002

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Five women arrested for unlawful entry in connection with an "anti-fur" demonstration who were placed in United States Marshals Service custody and compelled "to remove clothing and submit to a strip and squat search" prior to arraignment.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

United States of America, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. § 2674

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Issues

General:

Search policies

Strip search policy

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Government-run