CA8: Alleged degrading strip search of transgender inmate stated claim

An allegedly retaliatory prison strip search alleged to be degrading and too intrusive stated a claim and survived qualified immunity on the Fourth Amendment but not the First Amendment retaliation claim. The inmate was transgender transitioning to female. Beard v. Falkenrath, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 8025 (8th Cir. Apr. 4, 2024):

If the facts pleaded in the complaint are true, “reasonable official[s] in the defendant[s’] shoes would have [also] understood that [they] w[ere] violating” Beard’s Fourth Amendment rights. Kisela v. Hughes, 138 S. Ct. 1148, 1153 (2018) (per curiam) (citation omitted). After all, in 2019, nearly two years before, we had concluded that a “degrading, humiliating, or abusive” strip search of an arrestee violated the Fourth Amendment. Robinson, 937 F.3d at 1138; see Bell, 441 U.S. at 560 (stating that “an abus[ive] [search] cannot be condoned”); see also Franklin v. Lockhart, 769 F.2d 509, 510-11 (8th Cir. 1985) (per curiam) (reversing summary judgment in an inmate strip-search case because the defendant did not address the scope and manner of the searches). The allegations here are just as egregious, if not more so. At a minimum, the defendants have not established “qualified immunity [from] the face of the complaint.” Bradford, 394 F.3d at 1015.

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