University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Roderique v. Kovac JC-NJ-0017
Docket / Court 2:85-cv-05778-AET ( D.N.J. )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On December 12, 1985, a detainee for a minor traffic violation filed this 42 U.S.C. §1983 action in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against Hunterdon County, the Sheriff, and the Warden of the Hunterdon County Jail, and the Township of the arresting officers. The ... read more >
On December 12, 1985, a detainee for a minor traffic violation filed this 42 U.S.C. §1983 action in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against Hunterdon County, the Sheriff, and the Warden of the Hunterdon County Jail, and the Township of the arresting officers. The Plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for punitive damages, claiming that her Fourth Amendment rights had been violated because of a mandatory strip search.

On December 13, 1983, the plaintiff was pulled over and arrested on a bench warrant for failure to pay $75 in parking tickets in Newark. Plaintiff was unable to pay the $75 as bond at the stationhouse. She elected to wait for the Newark police instead of calling a family member to make bond (because it was very early in the morning). She was transported to Hunterdon County Jail for detention awaitingthe Newark Police. She was strip searched, over protests that she did not want to be detained and that she was menstruating, and detained thereafter.

On September 14, 1987, the Court (Judge Anne E. Thompson) granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, finding Hunterdon County liable for damages (but not punitive damages), and dismissing the claims against the unnamed officers, the warden and the sheriff in their individual capacities. The charges against the township presumably were allowed to continue.

We have no further information about this case, except that it was closed three years later, on April 4, 1990.

Blase Kearney - 04/29/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
General
Search policies
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Hunterdon County
Township of Clinton
Plaintiff Description Woman transferred from Clinton Township Police Station to Hunterdon County Jail for detention because of an outstanding bench warrant regarding traffic violations, and was strip-searched at Hunterdon upon entry.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1990
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:85-cv-05778-AET (D.N.J.) 04/02/1990
JC-NJ-0017-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 09/14/1987 (1987 WL 17058 / 1987 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 8335) (D.N.J.)
JC-NJ-0017-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Thompson, Anne Elise (D.N.J.)
JC-NJ-0017-0001 | JC-NJ-0017-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Waldman, Thomas (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0017-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Dougherty, Michael (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0017-0001
Gallina, John P. (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0017-0001
Vaida, David (New Jersey)
JC-NJ-0017-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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