Florence V. Board Of Chosen Freeholders Of The Country Of Burlington

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Florence V. Board Of Chosen Freeholders Of The Country Of Burlington

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Syllabus

FLORENCE v. BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS

OF COUNTY OF BURLINGTON ET AL.

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR

THE THIRD CIRCUIT

No. 10–945. Argued October 12, 2011—Decided April 2, 2012

Petitioner was arrested during a traffic stop by a New Jersey state

trooper who checked a statewide computer database and found a

bench warrant issued for petitioner’s arrest after he failed to appear

at a hearing to enforce a fine. He was initially detained in the Burlington County Detention Center and later in the Essex County Cor-

section Facility, but was released once it was determined that the

fine had been paid. At the first jail, petitioner, like every incoming

detainee, had to shower with a delousing agent and was checked for

scars, marks, gang tattoos, and contraband as he disrobed. Petition-

er claims that he also had to open his mouth, lift his tongue, hold out

his arms, turn around, and lift his genitals. At the second jail, petitioner, like other arriving detainees, had to remove his clothing while

an officer looked for body markings, wounds, and contraband; had an

officer look at his ears, nose, mouth, hair, scalp, fingers, hands, arm-

pits, and other body openings; had a mandatory shower, and had his

clothes examined. Petitioner claims that he was also required to lift

his genitals, turn around, and cough while squatting. He filed a 42

U. S. C. §1983 action in the Federal District Court against the gov-

government entities that ran the jails and other defendants, alleging

Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations, and arguing that per-

sons arrested for minor offenses cannot be subjected to invasive

searches unless prison officials have reason to suspect concealment of

weapons, drugs, or other contraband. The court granted him sum-

mary judgment, ruling that “strip-searching” nonindictable offenders

without reasonable suspicion violates the Fourth Amendment. The

Third Circuit reversed.

Held: The judgment is affirmed. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Syllabus

FLORENCE v. BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS

OF COUNTY OF BURLINGTON ET AL.

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR

THE THIRD CIRCUIT

No. 10–945. Argued October 12, 2011—Decided April 2, 2012

Petitioner was arrested during a traffic stop by a New Jersey state

a trooper who checked a statewide computer database and found a

bench warrant issued for petitioner’s arrest after he failed to appear

at a hearing to enforce a fine. He was initially detained in the Bur-

Arlington County Detention Center and later in the Essex County Cor-

section Facility, but was released once it was determined that the

fine had been paid. At the first jail, petitioner, like every incoming

the detainee had to shower with a delousing agent and was checked for

scars, marks, gang tattoos, and contraband as he disrobed. Petition-

er claims that he also had to open his mouth, lift his tongue, hold out

his arms, turn around and lift his genitals. At the second jail, pets-

toner, like other arriving detainees, had to remove his clothing while

an officer looked for body markings, wounds, and contraband; had an

officer look at his ears, nose, mouth, hair, scalp, fingers, hands, arm-

pits, and other body openings; had a mandatory shower, and had his

clothes examined. Petitioner claims that he was also required to lift

his genitals, turn around, and cough while squatting. He filed a 42

U. S. C. §1983 action in the Federal District Court against the gov-

government entities that ran the jails and other defendants, alleging

Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations, and arguing that per-

sons arrested for minor offenses cannot be subjected to invasive

searches unless prison officials have reason to suspect concealment of

weapons, drugs, or other contraband. The court granted him sum-

mary judgment, ruling that “strip-searching” nonindictable offenders

without reasonable suspicion violates the Fourth Amendment. The

Third Circuit reversed.

Held: The judgment is affirmed.

Instruction Files

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