Amador, et al. v. Sheriff Leroy D. Baca, etc., et al.
Lynwood Strip Search Settlement
10-CV-1649-SVW

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • You are a class member (part of this case) if you were strip searched in a group, outside in the bus garage, while entering or returning to the Lynwood Jail (“CRDF”). The case covers such searches for the period March 5, 2008 to January 31, 2015. Only LASD records will be used to decide who is a class member.

     
  • This case was filed in United States District Court. The Judge is United States District Court Judge Stephen Wilson. Judge Wilson will decide whether the settlement is fair to class members.

     
  • The court is sending this notice to everyone who may qualify as a class member. If you are a class member, the settlement will affect your rights. You have a right to know about the settlement and your choices.

     
  • The Court has approved a team of lawyers (called “Class Counsel”) to collectively represent you. These lawyers have been working on this case since 2010. You don’t have to pay your own money for the work these attorneys have done. Instead, the lawyers will ask to be paid from the total settlement fund. You can hire your own lawyer to advise you if you want but don’t need to.

  • The settlement provides for payment of a total of $53 million dollars. Here’s how the money will be divided:

    1. Between approximately $34 million to $39 million will be divided among class members who file claims. (How much depends on certain decisions the Court makes.)
    2. The attorneys will be paid fees not to exceed one-third (33.33%) of the total fund, plus case expenses, which could be up to approximately $18,000,000 if plaintiffs’ counsel requests 1/3. The Court may pay the attorneys less than 1/3 but not more.
    3. Payment of $10,000 to each of the 9 class representatives for their role in starting and supporting the case.
    4. Additional payments to a court appointed class administrator to notify the class and distribute the money.
     
  • Each class member who submits a claim will receive a share of the settlement based on the total number of claimants (people who submit claims). The money will be divided among the claimants based on several things: the number of searches each person had, the weather when the search happened, and how bad the lack of privacy was during the search (the earlier searches were generally worse). Each person will receive a certain number of points based on these issues, and the settlement will be divided based on each person’s points.

    If you don’t file a claim on time, you will get no points and no money. It is divided only among those who file on time.

    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 count for points – will likely receive thousands of dollars.

     
     
  • The court will decide how much they will be paid. The lawyers may ask the Court for a fee of up to one-third (33.33%) of the total available class fund (one-third of 53 million), plus case expenses, which could be up to approximately $18,000,000 if plaintiffs’ counsel requests the full 1/3. The Court can award less than that, but not more.

    You will not personally pay any attorneys’ fees that the court awards to the attorneys.

  • You can stay a class member and object to all or part of the settlement . If you object, you must tell the court specifically what you think is unfair about the settlement or request for fees. 

    To do this, mail a written statement with the case name and number at the top of the page (Amador v. Baca, Case No. CV 10-01649 SVW). Include your name, your address, your telephone number, signature and the reason why you object. (If you previously used a different name, include any names you have used.)

    Your objections must be mailed and postmarked no later than June 4, 2020. You must send your objection and copies to all the people listed below.

    Court Clerk
    Clerk to Hon. Stephen V. Wilson
    First Street Courthouse
    350 W. 1st Street,
    Courtroom 10A
    Los Angeles, California

    Counsel for Plaintiff
    Kaye, Mclane, Bednarski & Litt
    Attn: Julia White
    975 E. Green Street
    Pasadena, CA 91106

    Counsel for LASD
    Glaser Weil
    Attn: Andy Baum
    10250 Constellation Blvd, Floor 19
    Los Angeles, CA 90067

    The Court will consider your objection and decide whether to overrule it or change the settlement agreement. You will only be allowed to appear at the hearing and argue your objection to the court if your objection states you wish to do so.

    If the court accepts or rejects your objection, you remain a member of the class and will be bound by the settlement agreement, and will get your share of the settlement. (This means you’re giving up claims against the LASD for strip searches covered by this case.)

  • If you do not want to be a member of the class at all, or if you want to be able to file your own lawsuit, or be part of a different lawsuit, then you must take steps to exclude yourself. This is sometimes is referred to as “opting out” of the class.

    To do this, mail a written statement with the case name and number at the top of the page (Amador v. Baca, Case No. CV 10-01649 SVW). Include your name, your address, your telephone number, signature and a statement that you wish to exclude yourself or similar words. (If you previously used a different name, include any names you have used). You don’t need to explain why you are excluding yourself.

    You must mail your Exclusion Request, postmarked no later than June 4, 2020, to:

    Lynwood Strip Search Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    PO Box 91070
    Seattle, WA 98111

     

  • Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the settlement but staying in the case. Excluding yourself or “opting out” is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the case. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object because you are no longer part of the case, and it doesn’t affect you.

     
  • If you do nothing, you will receive no money from the settlement and you will be giving up your rights against the County. Be sure to file a claim form unless you exclude yourself.

  • People who submit claims, object or do nothing, give up their right to sue the LASD (or its employees) for claims covered by this case. This means that you will not be able to sue the LASD for strip searches covered by the lawsuit that occurred when entering or returning to CRDF between March 5, 2008 and January 31, 2015. You are not giving up claims against the LASD unrelated to this case.

    People who exclude themselves (“opt out”) do not give up claims because they are no longer part of the case.

  • The Court has scheduled a hearing for July 20, 2020 to decide if the settlement is fair. If the Court decides it is, it will approve the settlement and will determine the attorneys’ fees and costs to be awarded.  The hearing date may change. There will not be a new notice if it does.

    You can come to the hearing, but you do not have to. The attorneys handling the case will answer any questions the Court may have.

    If you submitted an objection and indicated that you wanted to speak at the hearing, the Court may permit you to speak.

  • The Court has set the last day to submit a claim as June 4, 2020.

    If you do not submit a claim by then, you get no money. So file early.

    After final court approval, it will take at least two to three months, and possibly more, to process claims and calculate the amount due to each class member, and begin payments.

    Because of the large size of the fund, the County will pay the claims (and attorney’s fees and costs) in three payments, a year apart. Class members will be paid in one, two or three payments, depending on how large their claim is. You will be notified with the first payment of whether and when you will receive additional payments.

    After you file a claim, check back here for updates to the status of court approval and when payment mailings are expected. Or contact the class administrator by calling: 1-855-233-1237 or the Contact Us page.

  • For more details, please go to the Important Documents page to view the complete settlement documents in this case, as well as the motion for attorneys' fees. If you still have questions, you may call 1-855-233-1237.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Lynwood Strip Search Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91070
Seattle, WA 98111