The County of Los Angeles has agreed to pay a total of $53 million to settle class action allegations that women inmates were subject to degrading strip searches while entering or returning to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, Calif.
The settlement represents the largest payout in the county’s history.
The Lynwood strip search settlement website notes that Class Members include those who were subjected to a strip search in a group outside of the bus garage while entering or returning from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Lynwood Jail between March 5, 2008 and Jan. 31, 2015.
Lead plaintiffs claimed that thousands of inmates were subjected to unnecessary and violating strip searches. Plaintiff Jessica Almaraz alleged that she was strip searched a total of five times during her time at the Sheriff Department’s Century Regional Detention Facility.
According to the female inmates, women were often strip searched in groups. They say that they were forced to take off their clothes and be invasively strip searched in front of other women. Allegedly, deputies degraded them and yelled profanity during these searches.
The plaintiffs claim that this treatment violated their Fourth Amendment rights.
Eligible Class Members will be able to receive at least $200 for one strip search, while those who experienced numerous strip searches are likely to end up with thousands of dollars.
Inmates must complete and return a Claim Form to receive monetary recovery. According to the strip search class action, qualifying individuals should have received a Claim Form in the mail. Class Members may also compete a Claim Form online.
Class Members can exclude themselves from the settlement, or object to it by June 4, 2020. Those who excluded themselves from the settlement retain their right to pursue independent litigation over the strip searches, but waive their rights to claim benefits from this settlement.
Former inmates who do nothing will receive no benefits, and waive their rights to pursue independent litigation.
Class Members can also attend the final approval hearing on July 20, 2020, in which a judge will decide whether or not the settlement will be approved.
Individuals who were subjected to a strip search in a group outside of the bus garage while entering or returning from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Lynwood Jail between March 5, 2008 and Jan. 31, 2015.
At least $200 and up to thousands of dollars.
No Class Member who files a claim will receive less than $200 (for one search under the least bad conditions). Persons with the highest number of searches – up to 50 – will likely receive thousands of dollars.
Proof of Purchase
NOTE: If you do not qualify for this settlement do NOT file a claim.
Remember: you are submitting your claim under penalty of perjury. You are also harming other eligible Class Members by submitting a fraudulent claim. If you’re unsure if you qualify, please read the FAQ section of the Settlement Administrator’s website to ensure you meet all standards (Top Class Actions is not a Settlement Administrator). If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other open class action settlements you may be eligible for.
Claim Form Deadline
Mary Amador, et al. v. Sheriff Leroy D. Baca, et al., Case No. 2:10-cv-01649-SVW-JEM, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
Lynwood Strip Search Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91070
Seattle, WA 98111
Barrett S. Litt
KAYE McLAN BEDNARSKI & LITT
DONALD COOK ATTORNEY AT LAW
LAW OFFICES OF COLLEEN FLYNN
LAW OFFICES OF CYNTHIA ANDERSON-BARKER
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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.