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Summary Judgment Denied for Male Cops Who Strip Searched Female Arrestees

U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez has granted in part and denied in part a motion for partial Summary Judgment in a lawsuit by three women who allege they were forced to expose themselves to male cops.

Cristen Love, Patricia Imani and Stephanie Snyder were attested at the Port of Olympia after protesting military shipments destined for Iraq. In the process of searching the three women at the Olympia Jail, the women were forced to expose their breasts to more than one male guard.

Love, Imani and Snyder sued arguing that as pretrial detainees it was unreasonable for jail staff to require them to expose their breasts. The three argued that the search violated their federal constitutional rights and the Washington State’s Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

The defendants moved for partial summary judgment, which Judge Martinez denied in part. According to Martinez, there were factual disputes surrounding the plaintiff’s allegations that precluded summary judgment. For example, the Court held that there was a “genuine issue of material fact” in dispute regarding whether the strip searches were conducted pursuant to an official custom or policy of the City of Olympia. The Court also denied summary judgment for the defendants on plaintiff’s ERA assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims. See: Love v. City of Olympia, No. 09-5531-RSM (W.D. Wa 2011).

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Related legal case

Love v. City of Olympia