University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Watt v. City of Richardson Police Department JC-TX-0015
Docket / Court Unknown ( N.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
A woman arrested for failure to license her dog in the City of Richmond Texas, who was strip searched, subjected to a cavity search, and jailed, filed this case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in 1987. The Court (Judge H. Sanders, Jr.) found that the city's strip ... read more >
A woman arrested for failure to license her dog in the City of Richmond Texas, who was strip searched, subjected to a cavity search, and jailed, filed this case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in 1987. The Court (Judge H. Sanders, Jr.) found that the city's strip search policy violated the Fourth Amendment on its face and as applied to the plaintiff.

On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court's decision, but held that while the city's policy was susceptible of constitutional scrutiny, strip search cases are best determined by case by case analysis.

Denise Heberle - 08/14/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
General
Search policies
Strip search policy
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) City of Richardson
Plaintiff Description Lynda Watt was subjected to a strip search and a visual body cavity search after her arrest for failure to license her dog in the City of Richardson, Texas, while her friend was on the way to pay her bail.
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 Damages
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1988
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 07/15/1988 (849 F.2d 195)
JC-TX-0015-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Black, Norman William (S.D. Tex.) [Magistrate]
JC-TX-0015-0001
Garwood, William Lockhart (Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0015-0001
Jones, Edith Hollan (Fifth Circuit)
JC-TX-0015-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Larson, Douglas A. (Texas)
JC-TX-0015-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Bartlett, M. Leigh (Texas)
JC-TX-0015-0001
Dickinson, D. Bradley (Texas)
JC-TX-0015-0001
Walls, Janetta S. (Texas)
JC-TX-0015-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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