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Summary Judgment Denied in an Unconstitutional Strip Search

A Pennsylvania Federal District Court denied defendant’s summary judgment in a lawsuit alleging an unconstitutional strip search that violated a prisoner’s Fourth Amendment rights.

Upon being booked into the Chester County Jail on September 13, 2007 for DUI and other traffic violations, Officer Jennings ordered Mary Gwiazdowski to undress and remove all clothing, revealing her naked body.

Gwiazdowski’s complaint alleged Jennings forced her to bend over and spread the lobes of her buttocks. Then Jennings sprayed her head, under her arms, and her private areas with Lysol. Gwiazdowski was then ordered to shower and was given jail clothing to dress with.

Gwiazdowski’s lawsuit claimed that her arrest did not require a strip search. In denying the defendant’s summary judgment motion, the court concluded on October 19, 2009 that a jury could find that the county’s delousing procedure is a visual strip search that violated Gwiazdowski’s Fourth Amendment rights. See: Gwiazdowski v. County of Chester, USDC, State of Pennsylvania. Case No. 2:08-cv-04463.

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Related legal case

Gwiazdowski v. County of Chester