Civil Case Law - Eleventh Circuit

Skurstenis v. Jones , 236 F.3d 678 (11th Cir. 2000): Plaintiff was arrested for drunk-driving and submitted to a strip search by a female officer after being booked.  The next morning she was instructed to go to the infirmary, where a male in jeans and a t-shirt who wore no badge or ID told her to pull down her pants so that he could check her for “crabs.” He ran his fingers back and forth through her pubic hair 8 or 10 times looking for lice. The district court held there was simply no legitimate basis for the pelvic inspection, which becomes “absolutely uncivilized” when conducted by an unknown male.  The Eleventh Circuit reversed, holding that the search conducted by male member of hospital staff, “was reasonable in manner and scope and did not violate Fourth Amendment.”

Fortner v. Thomas, 983 F.2d 1024 (11th Cir. 1993): Male inmates in a state facility brought suit against prison officials, claiming that female correctional officers were assigned to their living quarters, and acted unprofessionally when they viewed the inmates in the nude.  The inmates claimed that the officers flirted with them, and seduced and solicited the inmates into exposing their genitals.  The court found that the inmates did state a claim for privacy, and denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss as it pertained to injunctive relief.

Wilder v. Lawson , 2011 WL 3703398 (S.D. Ga. Jul. 26, 2011): A male inmate brought suit against the Sheriff and individual officers at a jail, alleging that he was subjected to pat down and strip searches conducted by female jailers.  He claimed that he suffered “ongoing psychological and emotional trauma,” as a result.  The court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss, and permitted the claim to proceed for nominal damages, declarative, and injunctive relief.

Webb v. White, 2008 WL 4889116 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 12, 2008): A male inmate was strip searched in the sight range of a female correctional officer.  The court dismissed the suit based on qualified immunity, finding that the search was not established as “clearly unlawful.”

Hammond v. Gordon County , 316 F. Supp. 2d 1262 (N.D. Ga. 2002): Allegations that male jail officer required female inmate to strip in order to receive toiletries, and inserted his finger in inmate's vagina, stated claim that officer violated inmate's Eighth Amendment rights.