Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Supreme Court to hear NJ strip-search challenge

A Burlington County man who was twice strip-searched following his 2005 arrest for a fine he had already paid will have his case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Supreme Court to hear NJ strip-search challenge

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether New Jersey officials appropriately strip-searched a Burlington County man jailed in error for seven days following a routine traffic stop in 2005.

Albert Florence was pulled over on I-295 and taken into custody on a warrant issued out of Essex County because of an allegedly had an unpaid a fine.

Though Florence produced a receipt that showed the fine had been paid, he was arrested. He was searched first in the Burlington County Jail, later in Essex County Jail.

He was held for seven days before authorities confirmed he had been incarcerated in error.

Florence alleges in a federal lawsuit that his civil rights were violated by the the strip-searches. A federal judge in Camden agreed, but that decision was overturned by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday decided to hear the matter. It is expected to go before the panel in the fall.

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Garden State Grapevine covers news in South Jersey and Trenton.

The Grapevine is put together by the 20 journalists on the Inquirer's award-winning South Jersey team.

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