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Florence V. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, Et Al., 566 U.S. ____ (2012).

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LSTD302 Case Brief

Professor Tamara Herdener

July 24, 2016

Case Citation: Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, et al., 566 U.S. ____ (2012).

Parties: Albert W. Florence, Plaintiff / Appellant

Board of Chosen Freeholder of County of Burlington, Defendant / Appellee

Facts: The appellant, Albert Florence, had been arrested on an outstanding warrant for a simple traffic violation, in which, it’d been determined and shown that the fine’d already been paid later-on. After being arrested, Florence was then taken to be incarcerated at the Burlington County Detention Center, where then, he was ordered to comply with a strip search, remaining at that facility for nearly six days before being transferred to the Essex County Correctional Facility, where then, he was ordered to comply with yet another strip search, making that two strip searches for two separate prisons. Florence complied, however, stated that these kinds of strip searches he’d felt had violated on his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, considering that he was merely arrested for a simple offense. The district court had granted that the Petitioner have a summary of judgement, as well, then ruling that strip searching any nonviolent offenders without any reasonable suspicion or reason would then violate that offenders Fourth Amendment rights. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals united for the Third Circuit had reversed, where then, holding that it’s a reasonable idea to be able to search everyone who’s incarcerated, even without suspicion in the event that they may be carrying a weapon.

Procedural History: In the year of 1998, Albert Florence, had been arrested for fleeing the police inside of Essex County, where then, he was charged with obstruction of justice simply by the use of a deadly sort of weapon. For this case, Florence pled guilty, where then, his charges were reduced into two lesser ones, as well, he was sentenced to pay a fine in what was made as monthly payments, however, he’d failed to keep up with them, adding that he didn’t appear at any of his hearing, causing him to have a warrant issued in the first place for his arrest. Florence ended up paying the outstanding fine, however, the warrant had never been updated in the system, where it remained, therefore, when Florence had been stopped in New Jersey, the officer had arrested him after checking through the statewide system, finding his warrant. During the time of his arrest at the incarceration facility, Florence had been forced to comply with showers and strip searches, being at the Burlington Facility for nearly six days before being transferred to the Essex County Correctional Facility, where then, he was once again told to comply with the same procedure, including the body cavity search. Now, once it was shown that Florence had already paid his fine, then he was released, however, upon his release, he proceeded to file a 2 U.S.C. § 1983 acton for the federal court due to his violations he felt had taken place of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, arguing that any person being arrested for a minor or nonviolent offense shouldn’t be subject the these types of searches, where rather, this kind of search should be given if an officer has a reason to believe that the offender or inmate contain a weapon or some sort of drugs and contraband. After this, the District court had then granted Florence a summary judgement simply because the unlawful search of any nonviolent offenders where a strip search was to be involved without any kind of reason to believe or suspicion, as this violated the Constitution. At this point, the Third Circuit had begun to reverse the decision simply because they’d felt that the procedure had been completely necessary in order to keep order and security among the offenders and inmates in the two facilities, as, due to the different opinions among the Federal Court of Appeals, it was then that the Supreme Court was able to grant a form of certiorari.


Issue 1: Does the Fourth Amendment allow a correctional facility or it’s officers to be able to order a strip search on any offender or inmate during the time of arrest under any kind of situation, whether there’s probable cause supported in order to conduct these kind of searches or not, and if this includes any minor or nonviolent crimes?


Issue 1: Yes. The correctional facilities are able to order inmates and offenders to comply with the strip searches in order to maintain a high level of security of everyone inside, adding that strip searches are highly able to help the corrections staff be able to find and remove and kind of smuggled contraband that’s prohibited from inside the facility. Correctional facility strip searches aren’t required to have any sort of suspicion or reason so long as the offender


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