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

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Expand/Collapse All
  • 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 sent 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 submitted a claim will receive a share of the settlement based on the total number of claimants (people who submitted 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.

    The claim filing deadline was June 4, 2020, and the final approval hearing took place on July 20, 2020. After the hearing, the Court decided to approve any additional completed claims that had been filed prior to the final approval hearing. However, any claims filed after the July 20, 2020 hearing will be denied. If you did not file a claim before the deadline, 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 had the right to stay as class member and object to all or part of the settlement. The deadline to object to the settlement was June 4, 2020 and has passed.

  • You had the right to exclude yourself from the Class and give up the right to your share of the Settlement Amount. The deadline to exclude yourself was June 4, 2020 and has passed.

  • 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 excluded yourself, you could not object because you are no longer part of the case, and it doesn’t affect you.

     
  • If you did nothing, you will receive no money from the settlement and you gave up your rights against the County. 

  • People who submitted claims, object or did nothing, gave 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 excluded themselves (“opted out”) did not give up claims because they are no longer part of the case.

  • On July 20, 2020, the Court granted final approval of the settlement. On August 11, 2020, the Court approved attorneys’ fees and class representative awards. The Claims Administrator is still verifying claims and cannot yet estimate how much each person will receive. Please check back for updates.

  • The claim filing deadline was June 4, 2020, and the final approval hearing took place on July 20, 2020. After the hearing, the Court decided to approve any additional completed claims that had been filed prior to the final approval hearing. However, any claims filed after the July 20, 2020 hearing will be denied.

    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 filed 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