ILLEGAL STRIP SEARCH
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides that a person has the right to be free from unreasonable searches. A person may not be subjected to a strip search just because that person is in custody. Rather, the police officer must have a reasonable suspicion about that person to justify a strip search. Among the strip search cases we have brought are the following:
Perverted police officer
We represented two teenage girls who, in separate incidents, were forced by Wareham police officer Scott Flanagan (who was under the supervision of Sergeant Jeffrey Perry) to remove their clothing in the open for his personal gratification. The officer pled guilty to violating the girls' civil rights. One case went to trial; the jury awarded the girl $50,000 against the Town of Wareham, the officer’s employer. The other case settled for a similar amount. The Town of Wareham also paid plaintiffs' costs and attorneys’ fees.
Class action lawsuits
Through class action lawsuits, we have secured settlements for many people who were illegally strip searched in jails or correctional facilities. These class actions include Mack v. Suffolk County, Connor v. Plymouth County, Nilsen v. York County, Ryan v. Garvey, and Garvey v. Macdonald.
Strip search after arrest on minor motor vehicle charge
A woman who was strip searched after an arrest on a minor motor vehicle default warrant obtained a settlement.
Strip search in a room with a window
A woman prisoner at MCI-Framingham was strip searched in a room with a window. This was a routine strip search before a drug test. The case settled. The Commissioner told the Superintendent to never do that again.
In addition to strip search cases, we have represented people for violations of privacy when information in their medical or other records was illegally disclosed. Because of the nature of these cases, the settlement amounts remain confidential.