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$586,000 to Settle KY Jail Strip Search Suit

On January 25, 2000, Jefferson County, Kentucky, announced it would pay $586,000 to 31 people strip searched after being booked into the Jefferson county jail on minor traffic offenses in 1993. Previously, PLN reported that Jefferson County had paid $11.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit by 6-8,000 people who were wrongly strip searched at the jail.

The second suit which was settled concerns jail strip searches that occurred after a federal court had already enjoined the strip searches filed in the first suit which previously settled. The $586,000 settlement includes attorney fees. Nick Hawkins, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, said the 20 men and 11 women would receive unspecified equal amounts of the settlement, even though the women would receive larger dollar amounts than the men. The lawsuit was filed by people who were strip searched at the jail after being arrested for misdemeanors and minor traffic offenses. As a result of the various lawsuits, and paying out over $3 million in settlements and jury verdicts, the Jefferson County Jail now only strip searches felony arrestees.

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