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Scott v. City of Mobile

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

January 23, 2018

ANGELA SCOTT, Plaintiff,
CITY OF MOBILE, et al., Defendants.



         This matter is before the Court on Defendant City of Mobile's (“the City”) Motion to Strike, Plaintiff' Angela Scott's (“Plaintiff”) Response in Opposition, and the City's Reply. (Docs. 46, 51, 57). The pending motion was referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 72.2(c)(4). After careful consideration of the record, it is RECOMMENDED that the City's motion to strike be DENIED IN PART and GRANTED IN PART.


         On April 20, 2015, Plaintiff was pulled over for a traffic violation by officers from the City of Mobile Police Department. Officers determined that there was an active warrant for Plaintiff's arrest. As a result, she was arrested, searched, and transported to Mobile County Metro Jail (“Metro”). Plaintiff has filed 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against a number of Defendants, including members of the City of Mobile Police Department, the City of Mobile, Alabama, Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran (“Sheriff Cochran”), and the Alabama Safety Institute.[1]

         On July 28, 2017, the district court adopted the undersigned's Report and Recommendation, and granted the City of Mobile and Sheriff Cochran's motions to dismiss in part. The Court permitted pro se Plaintiff to file an amended complaint with regard to some of her claims, and she has done so. (Docs. 33, 38, 40).

         Plaintiff was allowed to amend her complaint for the purpose of “properly stat[ing] a § 1983 malicious prosecution claim [Count IV] upon which relief can be granted against the City.” (Docs. 33, 38).[2] However, Plaintiff was also permitted leave to amend her complaint with regard to certain allegations contained in Counts X and XI against Sheriff Cochran. (Id.).

         In response to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, the City has filed a motion to strike paragraphs 37-41 and 86, arguing that the amendments included in these paragraphs are “outside the scope of the malicious prosecution claim and because Plaintiff has admitted that she no longer pursues the § 1983 malicious prosecution claim against the City, any amendments to the Complaint as against the City are due to be stricken as in violation of this Court's Orders.” (Doc. 46 at 2, ¶ 4). This portion of the Amended Complaint is quoted below:

37. That plaintiff was subjected to similar strip searches by intake receiving officers (“IRO”) immediately upon arrival at metro jail as an arrestee on or about April 20, 2015, August 14, 2013, April 19, 2012, January 10, 2010, August 5, 2003, July 31, 2003, August 1, 2002, and October 5, 2001.
38. That the intake area within metro jail wherein these searches occurred provided no privacy and was open and in plain view of male and female arrestees/inmates who were located in adjacent areas separated only by clear glass windows and doors; and that all parts of the intake area is in plain view of the intake desk that was manned by male and female officers each time plaintiff was strip searched; and that the male officers manning the desk have the opportunity to observe and do observe females, including observing plaintiff each time, being strip searched in the intake area.
39. That on or about June 12, 1989 the City, in an agreement with Mobile County, paid for, approved and participated in the design and layout of the metro jail and it[s] intake area wherein arrestees/inmates are strip searched within the plain view of male and female inmates/arrestees and male and female jail officers.
40. That the sheriff and metro jail had in effect since June 1, 2002 a policy of permitting arrestees/inmates to be strip searched within the open intake area and that policy defined a strip search to be “the taking off or removal of clothing to search a person for weapons or contraband, ” and that the policy empowered IRO's with discretion to arbitrarily strip search an arrestee/inmate in the intake area based on the IRO's suspicion aroused by the arrestee's/inmate's prior criminal record as was the case with plaintiff each time she was incarcerated at metro jail.
41. That the sheriff's and metro jail's strip search policy that was conducted in the open and exposed intake area of the jail facility was a custom and practice developed since June 2002 that subjected plaintiff to humiliation and embarrassment each time she was brought into metro jail; and the sheriff required training of the IROs to conduct the unlawful strip search.
86. That the City through its participation in providing for the design, layout and construction of the metro jail and its intake area, and the sheriff through his promulgating and enforcement of the jail's strip search policy in the intake area, since June 2002 combined to foment a custom and practice of inmates/arrestees processed into metro jail being arbitrarily strip searched in open and plain view of jail officers and inmates and arrestees of the opposite sex, including for plaintiffs multiple strip searches alleged above being conducted [] within the ...

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