James Egan, a renowned DUI and civil rights lawyer, obtained video from the Puyallup City Jail of two DUI clients where they were observed using toilets, in September of 2010. Over the past 2 ½ years, Attorney James Egan has obtained other video evidence of a pattern and practice for DUI detainees at this Seattle area jail, where apparently young, attractive women were subject to observation relieving themselves in toilets, and/or were also directed to change all clothes, to include bras and panties, in monitored cells where hidden cameras recorded them doing so. Despite not being booked, certain women would then have their “booking photos” taken, and then would change back into street clothes, since they were all to be bailed out or scheduled for release on “personal recognizance.” Statements by the women reveal a sexually charged environment, where guards would comment about their bodies and one guard jokingly referred to a woman as a “squatter.”
In May, 2013, Attorney Egan sought to resolve the matters quietly at the clients’ requests; on July 8, 2013, after being apprised of the law violations, the City of Puyallup failed to find any liability for their hidden recordings and offered nothing in settlement negotiations. After this, yet another video of a woman urinating was provided through a public records request, illustrating that the practice apparently continues.
This filed lawsuit (by Egan and co-counsel at the Jack Connelly Law Firm) involves 11 women and one man where these videos were obtained through Washington’s Public Records Act. The lawsuit points out this kind of hidden surveillance is an obvious violation of the right to privacy under federal law and strip search rules under state law.
Attorneys James Egan of Seattle, and Lincoln Beauregard and Julie Kays of the Connelly Law Firm in Tacoma, seek out further information from the public about experiences at the Puyallup City Jail. If you or someone you know has information about the Puyallup City Jail, please contact James at (206) 749-0333, or Lincoln or Julie at (253) 593-5100.
We ask that the general public respect the identity of these plaintiffs as confidential under the circumstances. The names are under seal and are referred to only by Plaintiff number or initials.