AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Corrections Law
for Jails, Prisons and Detention Facilities


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Search: Visitors

     Practice of conducting random searches of prison visitors' vehicles did not violate their constitutional rights despite a lack of individualized suspicion, and was a proper special needs search based on concerns about prison security. Neumeyer v. Beard, No. 04-1499, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 18308 (3d Cir.). [2005 JB Oct]
     291:45 N.J. court upholds use of scanning device and dogs to detect drugs on prison visitors. Jackson v. Dept. of Corrections, No. A-5223-98T5, 762 A.2d 255 (N.J. Super. 2000).
     EDITOR'S NOTE: For other cases upholding similar drug detection policies, see Spear v. Sowders, 71 F.3d 626 (6th Cir. 1995); Romo v. Champion, 46 F.3d 1013 (10th Cir. 1995); Ybarra v. Nevada Board of State Prison Commissioners, 520 F. Supp. 1000 (D. Nev. 1981); Black v. Amico, 387 F. Supp. 88 (W.D.N.Y. 1974).
     229:11 Roadblock stop of car entering correctional facility, sniffing of vehicle and occupants by narcotics-detecting dog, and strip search of female visitor to whom dog alerted were all reasonable, federal appeals court rules. Romo v. Champion, 46 F.3d 1013 (10th Cir. 1995). [Cross-reference: Strip Search: Visitors].
     California appeals court upholds administrative searches of prison visitor's vehicles on prison premises, including use of narcotics detecting dogs, but upholds some restrictive conditions set by trial court. Estes v. Rowland, 17 Cal.Rptr.2d 901 (Cal.App. 1993).
     Visitor searches challenged. Estes et al. v. McCarthy et al., Marin Co. Superior Court, San Francisco Recorder, 2/28/86.
     Officials could be liable for searching 68-year-old mother visiting her son. Smothers v. Gibson, 778 F.2d 470 (8th cir. 1985).
     Woman awarded over $175,000 for being strip-searched in accordance with policy. Blackburn v. Snow, 771 F.2d 556 (1st Cir. 1985).
     Reasonable cause, not probable cause, needed to search visitors. Com. v. Dugger, 486 A.2d 382 (Pa. 1985).
     Posted signs and consent forms were sufficient in searching visitors. State v. Balser, 460 So.2d 74 (La. App. 1984).
     Strip-searches of visitors improper; warden liable for termination of mother's visiting rights. Thorn v. Jones, 585 F.Supp. 910 (M.D. La. 1984).
     Visitor awarded over $175,000 for unconstitutional stripsearch; sheriff liable for termination of mother's visiting rights. Cole v. Snow, 586 F.Supp. 655 (D. Mass. 1984) and 599 F. Supp. 1386 (D. Mass. 1984).
     Court orders changes in county jail procedures on cell searches, contact visitations, etc. for pretrial detainees. Rutherford v. Pitchess, 710 F.2d 572 (9th Cir. 1983).
     Prison officials may search attorneys and ban their briefcases from cell area. Rhode Island Defense Attys. Assn. v. Dodd, 463 A.2d 1370 (R.I. 1983).
     Anonymous tip did not provide "reasonable suspicion" necessary to strip search visitor. Comm. v. Lapia, 457 A.2d 877 (Pa. App. 1983).
     Routine search of a attorney's property at jail and courthouse was permissible. Rhode Island Defense Attys. Assn. v. Dodd, 463 A.2d 1370 (R.I. 1983).
     Eighth Circuit rejects visitor strip search policy at Iowa prisons. Hunter v. Auger, 672 F.2d 668 (8th Cir. 1982).
     Jail guard's search of visitor for possible weapons not akin to arrest; Miranda warnings unnecessary. People v. Carter,, 172 Cal.Rptr. 838 (App. 1981).
     State Supreme Court voids restrictions applicable to attorney visitation at West Virginia prison. State ex rel McCamic v. McCoy, 276 S.E.2d 534 (W.Va. 1981).
     Vermont court dismisses prisoner's claim that strip search of girlfriend violated his constitutional rights; restrictions on inmate marriages were proper. Wool v. Hogan, 505 F.Supp. 928 (D. Vt. 1981).
     Federal court rules that search of visiting attorney's briefcase must be limited. Henry v. Perrin, 609 F.2d 1010 (1st Cir. 1979).

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