E.D.Cal.: Ptf inmate’s unreasonable prison strip search case survives screening

Plaintiff, an inmate at Corcoran, stated enough to survive screening for his prison strip search case. Jacobs v. CDCR, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66813 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 6, 2021):

Plaintiff appears to complain about a strip search on one occasion. The Ninth Circuit has held that prisoners retain rights to bodily privacy under the Fourth Amendment. … However, strip searches do not per se violate prisoners’ Fourth Amendment rights. … 974. Rather, a strip search is unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment where it is “‘excessive, vindictive, harassing, or unrelated to any legitimate penological interest.'” … “Whether a search is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment requires a case-by-case ‘balancing of the need for the particular search against the invasion of personal rights that the search entails ….'” … In reviewing such a claim, the Court must consider “‘the scope of the particular intrusion, the manner in which it is conducted, the justification for initiating it, and the place which it is conducted.'” …

At the pleading stage, Plaintiff’s allegations suggest that he may be able to state a cognizable claim that the strip search by Defendants Arreazola, Lefner, Clegg, Garcia, Helmuth and Menhenez was unreasonable in violation of the Fourth Amendment because it lacked justification.

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