$3 Million Lawsuit Settlement After 900 High School Students Searched Without Cause

WORTH CO., GA – Governor Nathan Deal has appointed an interim sheriff for Worth County after Jeff Hobby was suspended.

On Monday, Deal announced he suspended Hobby from office by Executive Order.

Tuesday, another Executive Order was signed stating Bobby Sapp will fill the temporary vacancy as sheriff of Worth County pending the changes against Hobby or until his term ends, whichever comes first.

The Southern Center for Human Rights announced Tuesday that the total settlement fund will be $3 million in a federal civil rights lawsuit, which is the limit of the defendant’s insurance policy.

A lawyer for Hobby issued the following statement:

“Worth County entered into a coverage agreement with ACCG(Association County Commissioners of Georgia), who will make the payment in the settlement reached today. It is an insurance policy that covers the county in these types of cases (civil). ACCG will make the payment. Tax payers dollars will not be used to pay for the settlement” – Raleigh W. Rollins, Partner of Alexander & Vann, LLP. 

The lawsuit was filed in July claiming nearly 900 students were searched without cause at Worth County High School in April.

The settlement, which is pending approval from U.S. District Judge Leslie J. Abrams, will be dispersed to all students who were present for the search.

An attorney with Atlanta-based civil rights law firm Horsely Begnaud, Mark Begnaud, said that if the settlement is approved each student will be sent home with a survey they are asked to fill out for an account of their experience during the search.

Each student will then receive between $1,000 and $6,000, and the students who were subjected to more invasive searches will get a higher amount.

Additionally, once all claims are resolved and attorney fees paid, the remainder of the settlement will be put into a fund to benefit Worth County High School students.

Begnaud said he hopes this settlement sends a message to law enforcement across the country that this isn’t acceptable.

“It’s a win for those who value civil liberties,” said Begnaud.

The search sparked controversy in April and launched an investigation by the GBI.

Hobby and two deputies were indicted in October on charges related to the search.

Source: http://www.walb.com/story/36841490/3-million-settlement-reached-in-worth-co-high-school-search-lawsuit

WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

If you haven't already, be sure to like our Filming Cops Page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Please visit our sister site Smokers ONLY

Sign Up To Receive Your Free E-Book
‘Advanced Strategies On Filming Police’

About author

Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

You might also like