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Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, USSC NO. 10-945, Cert Granted 4/4/11


Decision below (621 F.3d 296 (3rd Cir 2010))

Question Presented:

Whether the Fourth Amendment permits a jail to conduct a suspicionless strip search of every individual arrested for any minor offense no matter what the circumstances.

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Caselaw in this Circuit has long rejected suspicionless jail strip searches for minor offenses. Mary Beth G. v. City of Chicago, 723 F.2d 1263, 1266, 1273 (7th Cir. 1983) (on arrest for “traffic, regulatory, or misdemeanor”: “ensuring the security needs of the City by strip searching plaintiffs-appellees was unreasonable without a reasonable suspicion by the authorities that either of the twin dangers of concealing weapons or contraband existed”). The 3rd Circuit rejected this limitation in favor of a categorical rule allowing strip searches for all arrestees.

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