DANA T. WEST, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated; ANTHONY HAIG; GARY SAUNDERS; MICHAEL WASHINGTON, Plaintiffs - Appellants,
SUSAN MURPHY, former Warden, Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center, individually and in her official capacity; WILLIAM JEDNORSKI, former Warden, Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center, individually and in his official capacity, Defendants - Appellees, and ERIC JONES; KEVIN ADAMS; TONIA BOWIE; DAVID COLYNS; AARON ROSS, Plaintiffs,
Argued: September 17, 2014.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. (1:05-cv-01287-CCB). Catherine C. Blake, District Judge.
Barrett Stephen Litt, KAYE MCLANE BEDNARSKI & LITT, Pasadena, California, for Appellants.
William F. Brockman, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MARYLAND, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellees.
Sean R. Day, Greenbelt, Maryland; William Claiborne, Washington, D.C., for Appellants.
Douglas F. Gansler, Attorney General, Matthew J. Fader, Assistant Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MARYLAND, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellees.
Before WILKINSON, SHEDD, and WYNN, Circuit Judges. Judge Wilkinson wrote the opinion, in which Judge Shedd and Judge Wynn joined. Judge Wynn wrote a separate concurring opinion.
WILKINSON, Circuit Judge:
This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action involves strip searches of arrestees in the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center. The district court granted defendants' motions for summary judgment on the grounds of qualified immunity. Jones v.
2013 WL 822372, at *6 (D. Md. Mar. 5, 2013). We now affirm.
The named plaintiffs are men who went through the booking process at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center in Baltimore, Maryland (" Central Booking" ). They represent a certified class of persons who were arrested between May 12, 2002, and April 30, 2008, " (a) on charges [or in cases] not involving weapons, drugs, or felony violence, and (b) strip searched (c) prior to or without presentment before a court commissioner or other judicial officer." Jones v. Murphy, 2013 WL 822372, at *3 (D. Md. Mar. 5, 2013). The district court defined a strip search as " the removal, pulling down, or rearrangement of clothing for the visual inspection of a person's genital and/or anal areas, which may also include requiring the person to squat and cough, in the presence of one or more guards." Id. The defendants are two former wardens of Central Booking.
Central Booking opened in 1995. The facility has two sections: the booking area and the housing unit. Only activities on the booking floor are at issue in this case.
After an individual is arrested in Baltimore, a transport officer brings him or her to Central Booking. Each arrestee enters the facility through a gender-specific sallyport, where an officer searches the arrestee with a metal detector and a pat-down. The sallyport officer puts a color-coded wristband on the arrestee. Scanning the barcode on the wristband allows an officer to view the arrestee's name, the charge, which officer arrested him, as well as the date, time, and location of the arrest. Some arrestees already have wristbands when they arrive; others come only with a " toe tag," which is a form listing the information that will be connected to the barcode. The sallyport officer also conducts a brief medical examination of the arrestee.
Following that, arrestees proceed to a search room where officers conduct a more thorough search, bagging and inventorying any personal property. Plaintiffs allege that at this stage of the process correctional officers conducted strip searches of the type described by the class certification order. In order to conduct the search, officers remove arrestees' handcuffs or flex-cuffs, which generally remain off for the remainder of the booking procedure. From the search room, an officer guides the arrestee to an intake window, where an intake officer inputs toe-tag information into the computer system and asks medical questions. An officer then ...