April 2nd, 2012
11:12 AM ET

High court rules against man strip searched for traffic violation

A New Jersey man who was strip searched in prison after being accused of failing to pay a traffic fine lost his Supreme Court appeal Monday.

The 5-4 divided court found two county prisons "struck a reasonable balance between inmate privacy and the needs of the (correctional) institution."

The conservative majority concluded a "reasonable suspicion" standard could be applied when conducting examinations of newly admitted prisoners. Albert Florence said he was subjected to what he called a pair of intrusive, humiliating searches six years ago.

Albert Florence said he was subjected to what he called a pair of intrusive, humiliating searches six years ago.

But Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said the policy was designed to protect Florence's safety.

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Filed under: Justice • Supreme Court • U.S.
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Mitch

    Just hope the one doing the strip search a male with a male preference! 😉

    April 2, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • your psychiatrist

      That's very interesting.

      April 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Albert Florence said he was subjected to what he called a pair of intrusive, humiliating searches six years ago.
    "This Just In".

    April 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©


      Seriously, anyone who is going into the jail system should be processed in the same way as anyone else.
      It doesn't matter what the charge is.
      I knew someone who spent a weekend in the county jail because he thought he was above paying a $25. seat-belt ticket.
      He had to go through the whole court rigamarole, including paying for court costs, and a stiff fine.
      He should have paid the ticket.
      And, worn his seat belt.

      April 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JoJo

    They didn't say in the article, but just wondering, what color he was??

    April 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • your psychiatrist

      Statistically, he was most likely pink.

      April 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • JerseyJeff

      He was a middle aged black man and it happened while the New Jersey State Police were under investigation for racially profiling drivers they pulled over.

      April 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JerseyJeff

    Obvious ruling...
    Being jailed safely until bond or judge says differently is important right for the jailed suspect, other jailed suspects and correction officers.

    Searching arrested or jailed individuals is a must to keep the jail system safe. If that means a search while being processed in, so be it.

    @Luke – they didn't search him because of the traffic stop, they searched him before being admitted into the County Jail system. If they searched the guy for no reason at the traffic stop it would be a totally different debate.

    April 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JerseyJeff

    If, for God knows what reason, I ever get arrested and put in jail. They have my permission to search me.

    I wanna know the cell I get tossed into doesn't have a lunatic or a drunk with a sharp object to jab into me. Jail houses ALL offenders. The minor to the heinous. Why wouldn't you want everybody checked?

    April 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    From the story I get above, and admittedly, I didn't research it, is this:

    He didn't pay his ticket.
    Therefore a bench warrant was put out for his arrest, as happens in many states.
    He was pulled over again.
    License called in, warrent discovered, arrest ensues.
    Off to jail he goes.

    That is how my aquaintance was caught.

    I agree!

    April 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Puhleez

      From what I understand, he did pay the ticket. And he still had to spend time in 2 different jails and get searched before the cops realized their mistake and let him go. Hopefully he can sue for wrongful arrest/imprisonment if there is such a thing.

      April 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AMERICA 1st

    I bet BIG BUBBA got his backdoor jollies! LMAO

    April 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pete

    Luke,this is another Bush generated policy ,homeland style.His brother Jeb is responsible for that Stand Your Ground Law that cost a 17 yr old his life in Fla.These mental midgets are tearing this country apart,a fact everyone is aware of...Wire tapping,search and seizure without a warrent,cameras every where,BIG BROTHER IS ALWAYS WATCHING,thanks to your lying republican extremists,they created this mess with their fear mongering,no ethics tactics starting with the Iraq war a known fact....Nothing is sacred anymore ,thanks to these anal retentives,our liberties are at a breaking point to be lost permanently by irresponsible judgements being forced down our throats by political influences.

    April 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • reality hater

      Actually Pete , the SYG law is a great law for the homeowners of Florida , it gives us the right to apply lethal force when necessary , the old law stated we must first try and retreat from danger – this law saw a lot of people being hurt or killed trying to retreat while at the same time having a loaded weapon in their possession- that was a bad law !
      the SYG law when applied in the correct context is a great law – Unfortunately in the case of Zimmerman and his victim Treyvon the law was twisted to suite a situation it was not intended for , Zimmerman became the aggressor when he left his vehicle and chased after Treyvon with a loaded weapon – claiming after the fact he was in fear of his life and forced to utilize deadly force – I believe the FBI and FDLE will come to the same conclusion ZImmerman is Guilty and the law cannot be used as a shield- this whole case will hinge on the fact he was instructed not to leave his vehicle and to wait for the police to arrive -and he did neither.

      April 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. disappointed

    Didnt they already have the right to search anyone they suspected? Now its a green light to violate anyone for no reason. This will be regularly abused.
    I'm very disappointed in the justices. They are supposed to interpret the preceeding rulings, right?
    This poor guy wasn't even the one driving. His pregnant wife was the one pulled over for speeding. And even though he had a paper on him saying the fine was paid... he was hauled off. And why did they need to search him TWICE? If he was already in their custody how would he get something potentially harmful?

    April 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. disappointed

    I read those details on a more detailed article.

    April 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brian

    @ disappointed, Your diction is impeccable!

    April 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. disappointed

    @brian- go ahead, make fun. CNN didn't give all the details. Forgive my redundancy, I simply feel like everyone is at risk of being humiliated for even minor infractions.
    Luke- you make a valid point. The conservative justices only want smaller government when big business or financial interests are involved.

    April 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. leeintulsa

    prison?! for a traffic offense?!! what the h?

    this may come as a surprise to some, but i've been in city jail for traffic offenses. there is a HUGE difference between jail and prison. *two* prisons? so he went to one, and was there long enough to transfer to another?? on a bleeding traffic offense? in prison, i might expect such a thing.

    i've been arrested twice. once, in texas, when i was young, for blowing off a no insurance ticket. once here, about 12 years ago, for dwi. neither time was there a strip search.

    do they not have local jails in florida? i find that hard to believe.

    here in tulsa, even if you are bound for prison, you *still* spend a few months in tulsa before moving on to big mac or some other facility. how long could he have possibly gotten for a traffic offense?

    so... key west – off the bucket list.

    April 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      DOH! someone mentioned jeb bush and threw me off. make that atlantic city..

      interesting related snippet: after house, the news came on.. faux news.. i've not been paying much attention, but they mentioned this story in a phone-in poll. keep in mind this is one of the reddest states in the union, and it's fox news. you know who's paying attention.. and calling..

      73 percent of respondents say the supreme court is wrong on this one.. lol

      April 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Obama goes to hell

    Probably searched by a jackpot baby

    April 3, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. reality hater

    total and utter BULLS#!t- The Supreme Court should be ashamed for upholding such lunacy – They should be ruling on a statute that enables victims of police brutality to collect their court awarded sums of money via the officers pension fund instead of the taxpayers back. This way the guilty actually pay and maybe just maybe there will be some accountability from our friends that walk the thin blue line .........

    April 5, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
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