Bond Unnecessary in NY Strip-Search Appeal

     MANHATTAN (CN) – With the U.S. Supreme Court upholding a New Jersey county’s blanket strip-search policy, Nassau County secured a victory in its effort to appeal the multimillion judgment it faces for a similar policy.
     The claims against Nassau were filed in 1999 by men and women strip searched after being arrested for misdemeanors.
     Disheartened by a Second Circuit decision in a different case two years later, Nassau County conceded that the searches violated the Fourth Amendment.
     The parties entered into a settlement that allowed the possibility of class-action litigation to continue if the plaintiffs succeeded on appeal.
     Though Nassau County’s loss in a 2010 bench trial seemingly brought the case to an end, the Supreme Court shook things up two years later with the decision Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, which eliminated the need for individualized suspicion to conduct strip searches.
     In light of that decision, U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley shelved the federal constitutional violations and upheld the state law claim to calculate the final judgment at $11.5 million on April 11, 2014.
     Hurley stayed the enforcement of that decision to allow both parties to pursue an appeal, but he gave Nassau County a deadline of 180 days to post a bond.
     The 2nd Circuit gave the county a break Friday, however, saying it need not post a bond to appeal.
     County attorney Carnell Foskey applauded the decision by Judges Peter Hall, Denny Chin and Christopher Droney.
     “We are pleased that the court agreed with our arguments that a bond is not necessary,” Foskey said. “This will avoid wasting county resources on matters that we may prevail on appeal. In addition, please note that the search policy regarding new admission inmates was revised in 1999.”

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