OH Ct.Claims: Ptf prison visitor didn’t prove her strip search was justified or unreasonably conducted

Plaintiff failed to prove her visitor strip search claim against the prison guards involved. The search was based on sufficient particularized suspicion that drugs were coming in through this visitor. The court finds she didn’t remember signing the form about the consequences of refusal. Manigault v. Ohio Dep’t of Rehab. & Corr., 2017-Ohio-8094, 2017 Ohio Misc. LEXIS 3386 (Ct. Claims Sept. 20, 2017):

[*P74] Undoubtedly, it was upsetting for plaintiff to be put through the strip search. “Indeed, a strip search, regardless how professionally and courteously conducted, is an embarrassing and humiliating experience.” Hunter, 672 F.2d at 674. Nevertheless, careful consideration of the evidence presented at trial demonstrates that the search was permitted under R.C. 5120.421. And, the search was carried out in a professional manner that caused no more intrusion upon or humiliation to plaintiff than necessary. It lasted approximately ten minutes and was performed in the normal course and in the usual, private location relative to strip searches of female visitors at TCI. The evidence suggests that perhaps it could have been more effectively communicated to plaintiff the potential consequences of not consenting, and that the restroom was secured while everyone was inside, but on the whole the search was carried out in an orderly and reasonable fashion. Although plaintiff’s recollection of events indicated otherwise, including that the employees laughed at her while in the restroom, the evidence demonstrates that plaintiff did not accurately remember everything, such as her unsolicited testimony that Chilson wore eyeglasses, when in reality Chilson only started wearing eyeglasses years later, or her inability to recall signing the Notification for Personal Search.

[*P75] Based upon the foregoing, plaintiff failed to prove her claim for invasion of privacy.

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