Case: Watt v. City of Richardson Police Department

3:85-cv-01679 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

Filed Date: Aug. 26, 1985

Closed Date: 1988

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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 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.

Summary Authors

Denise Heberle (8/14/2012)

People


Judge(s)

Black, Norman William (Texas)

Garwood, William Lockhart (Texas)

Jones, Edith Hollan (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Larson, Douglas A. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bartlett, M. Leigh (Texas)

Dickinson, D. Bradley (Texas)

Walls, Janetta S. (Texas)

Judge(s)

Black, Norman William (Texas)

Garwood, William Lockhart (Texas)

Jones, Edith Hollan (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Larson, Douglas A. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bartlett, M. Leigh (Texas)

Dickinson, D. Bradley (Texas)

Walls, Janetta S. (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

87-01302

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

849 F.2d 195

July 15, 1988

July 15, 1988

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 13, 2022, 3:11 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 26, 1985

Closing Date: 1988

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

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.

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Richardson (Richardson), City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Damages

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Search policies

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Government-run