Preliminary approval was recently filed in U.S. District Court for a settlement that involves Kern County, as the local government has been ordered to pay up in order to settle a class-action lawsuit. Plaintiffs in the case were inmates who claimed they were improperly strip searched while in prison. Specifically, authorities stripped inmates in a group or after they were ordered to be released. In light of the settlement, the county will have to pay out $7 million and beneficiaries are eligible if they were inmates during the time period of March 27, 2005, to Oct. 1, 2007. It is possible that those eligible could receive an amount between $200 and $2,250. County Counsel represented the Sheriff’s Department in the case.
The preliminary approval settlement document can be read here. An excerpt states:
“The Settlement Agreement is hereby preliminarily approved, subject to further consideration thereof, and final approval, at or after the Fairness Hearing provided for below. The Court finds that Defendants’ proposed payment of the following amounts (each of which is in addition to the other) are within the range of what would constitute a fair, reasonable, and adequate settlement in the best interests of the Class as a whole: (a) A person who was subjected for the first time during the class period (between March 27, 2005, and October 1, 2007) to a Kern County strip search after a Court ordered him or her to be released from all pending charges, and the person was in fact entitled to immediate release based on that order, will receive a payment of $1500”
For more, see here.