Formal Legal Brief





Formal Legal Brief

Case: Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, 566 U.S. (2012)

The petitioner, Albert W. Florence was arrested after being pulled over by a state trooper in New Jersey. The officer checked the database and found that there was a bench warrant issued for the petitioner. The database indicated that the petitioner had failed to appear in court to pay a fine. He was first detained at the detention center in Burlington County, where he was searched before being taken to jail. He was forced to shower and he was checked for body marks and contrabands. He also stated that he was forced to open his mouth and lift his tongue, lift his genitals, and hold out his arms. He was later transferred to Essex County correctional facility where he underwent another strip search. He was forced to remove his clothes and shower. He was then checked for contraband, markings and wounds. The officer checked the openings in his body including the ears, mouth, and nose. His hair, fingers, armpits, and scalp were also checked. The petitioner was later released after the courts found out that he had paid the fine.

The petitioner filed a case against jails for violating the fourth and fourteenth amendments. The US District court granted him summary judgment. The judge ruled that the actions by the officers were in violation of the constitution. The court of appeal reversed the judgment. The third circuit court ruled that the strip search was in line for anyone being jailed even though there were no suspicions of drugs or weapons. Five judges ruled in favor of the board of chosen freeholders and four voted in favor of the petitioner. When making the ruling, the court noted that it is not possible for officers to determine whether an arrestee had dangerous weapons. The justices noted that some arrestees had been of extreme violence eve though they had been arrested for minor offenses.

Work Cited:

FLORENCE v. BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS OF THE COUNTY OF BURLINGTON, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited November 19, 2014)


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