University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Wilson v. Jones JC-AL-0018
Docket / Court 2:99-cv-00110-TMP ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On January 20, 1999, an 18-year old woman arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in U.S. District Court for the North District of Alabama challenging the strip search policy of the Shelby County Jail. That policy required that each inmate be ... read more >
On January 20, 1999, an 18-year old woman arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in U.S. District Court for the North District of Alabama challenging the strip search policy of the Shelby County Jail. That policy required that each inmate be strip searched by a same sex jail staff member before being placed in a cell or detention room.

Plaintiff alleged that following her arrest and booking at the Jail, she was taken to a bathroom and ordered to disrobe. While she was nude, a female deputy looked into her mouth, nose and ears; checked her breasts; and told her to squat, spread her buttocks apart and cough three times.

After discovery was conducted, defendants moved for summary judgment on all claims.

On May 4, 2000, the District Court (Magistrate Judge T Michael Putnam) denied defendants' motion, holding that the Jail's policy of strip searching all jail admittees, regardless of personal circumstances, violated the constitution. Judge Putnam also held that defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity. Wilson v. Shelby County, Ala., 95 F.Supp.2d 1258 (N.D.Ala. 2000). Defendants appealed.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ( District Judge) reversed, holding that while the Jail's blank strip search policy of searching all inmates, without any reasonable suspicion, was unconstitutional, the defendant was entitled to qualified immunity. Wilson v. Jones, 251 F.3d 1340 (11th Cir. 2001).

Dan Dalton - 08/08/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
General
Strip search policy
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Shelby County
Shelby County Jail
Plaintiff Description 18 year old female arrested for DUI and strip-searched in a bathroom at the Shelby County Jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2001
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)
2:99-cv-00110-TMP (N.D. Ala.) 06/28/2001
JC-AL-0018-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation 04/23/1999 (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0018-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Re: Summary Judgment] 06/02/1999 (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0018-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Summary Judgment 05/04/2000 (95 F.Supp.2d 1258) (N.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0018-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion [Holding Strip Search Unconstitutional but Granting Qualified Immunity] 05/23/2001 (251 F.3d 1340)
JC-AL-0018-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Kravitch, Phyllis A. (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
JC-AL-0018-0005
Putnam, T. Michael (N.D. Ala.) [Magistrate]
JC-AL-0018-0001 | JC-AL-0018-0002 | JC-AL-0018-0006 | JC-AL-0018-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cleveland, K. Lee (Alabama)
JC-AL-0018-0005 | JC-AL-0018-0006 | JC-AL-0018-9000
Lyerly, Jonathon E (Alabama)
JC-AL-0018-0006 | JC-AL-0018-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dodson, John W (Alabama)
JC-AL-0018-0005 | JC-AL-0018-0006 | JC-AL-0018-9000
Ellis, Frank C. Jr. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0018-0005 | JC-AL-0018-0006 | JC-AL-0018-9000
Foley, Claire White (Alabama)
JC-AL-0018-0005 | JC-AL-0018-9000
Wallace, Vonda B (Alabama)
JC-AL-0018-0005
White, K. Claire (Alabama)
JC-AL-0018-0006
Other Lawyers None on record

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