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Byrd v. Maricopa Sheriff's Dept., No. 07-16640

By FindLaw Staff on January 05, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Challenge to Cross-Gender Strip Search

In Byrd v. Maricopa Sheriff's Dept., No. 07-16640, a civil rights action by a pretrial detainee claiming that he was subjected to a cross-gender strip search of his genital area, the court affirmed in part judgment for defendant where the complaint's allegations failed to state an equal protection claim because they asserted only allegedly harmful treatment and mentioned nothing about disparate treatment, much less about the specific jail policy or gender classification in general.  However, the court reversed in part where the scope of the intrusion in this case far exceeded searches the court had previously sanctioned and weighed in favor of a finding of unreasonableness.

As the court wrote:  "Charles E. Byrd (Byrd), a pretrial detainee at the time, was subjected to a cross-gender strip search of his genital area. Because the strip search was unreasonable under the facts of this case, we reverse the district court's entry of judgment in favor of Defendants-Appellees Maricopa County Sheriff's Department and then-cadet Kathleen O'Connell (O'Connell)."

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