Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Massachusetts Woman's Nonproductive Informant Based Vaginal Drug Search Ruled Non Actionable

Massachusetts resident Shirley Rodriques petitioned for review of a 1986 appellate summary judgment grant to defendants for qualified immunity in her action for her unproductive vaginal drug search. The Supreme Judicial Court, sua sponte, assumed jurisdiction and affirmed the ruling.

A warrant was issued based on an affidavit from police following accusations from an informant that Rodriques had drugs in her apartment and in a condom in her vagina. A semi forced hospital search produced no such drugs and none were found in her apartment. She brought action for violation of her right to be free from unreasonable search under the State's Civil Rights Act after a federal 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action also granted the defendants qualified immunity. Summary judgment in favor of the defendants was granted.

On review before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts at Bristol, the court
ruled that previous holdings excuse liability for reasonable but mistaken probable cause
determinations. The court noted the need for judicial review and determination of such
search procedures in requiring more than probable cause but determined that since no such
rule was, as of yet, established it would not benefit Rodriques. See: Rodriques v.
Furtado, 410 Mass. 878, 575 N.E.2d 1124 (1991).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Rodriques v. Furtado