Pay That Ticket or a Strip Search is in your Future
Albert Florence of New Jersey was a passenger in the family car being driven by his wife, when they were stopped by a New Jersey state trooper. The officer found that Florence had a warrant for an outstanding fine. Florence said he paid the fine. He was sent to jail and strip searched.
He was held in the county jail for six days, then transferred to another jail, where he says he was strip searched again. The day after arriving in the new jail, the county learned he really had paid the fine. It was just a silly computer error.
Meanwhile, Florence is really, really, really mad. Jailed for a mistake and then strip searched twice? Florence was so mad he sued and it went to the Supreme Court where this week it was decided that yes, you can be strip searched if you are being placed in a jail because it’s about safety.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote “Exempting people arrested for minor offenses from a standard search protocol thus may put them at greater risk and result in more contraband being brought into the detention facility.
Here’s the problem, Florence did pay his fine. It was a computer error. Turns out he was even carrying a letter to confirm that he had paid the fine because he’d been stopped before and questioned about the bench warrant.