Florence v. Burlington et al.
Susan Chana Lask, Esq. is counsel of record to Petitioner Albert Florence in this U.S. Supreme Court petition, which was granted on April 4, 2011.
Facts: In 2005, Ms. Lask filed a complaint in the District Court of New Jersey (Camden) for her client Albert Florence and a class of persons who are blanket strip searched in jails for non-criminal offenses, such as traffic tickets and failure to pay a fine. Mr. Florence was falsely arrested, jailed for 7 days and strip searched twice during the imprisonment for a fine he was not liable for. In 2008, Ms. Lask won the first ever class certification in the State of New Jersey and was appointed class counsel by the District Court of New Jersey for all those persons strip searched in prisons arrested for non-criminal minor offenses. Defendants appealed to the Third Circuit which ruled in 2010 that although a split in the circuits exists regarding the constitutionality of blanket strip searching without a reasonable basis, the Third Circuit deferred to the minority of 2 Circuits permitting blanket strip searches. That ruling created a split of 3 Circuits permitting blanket strip searches and 8 denying them.
Ms. Lask, who is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court since 2005, carefully chose her team for this case with the prestigious Stanford University Supreme Court Law Clinic and sophisticated Supreme Court litigator Thomas Goldstein, Esq. of Goldstein, Howe & Russell.
On January 14, 2011, Ms. Lask filed her Petition for Certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. On April 4, 2011 the United States Supreme Court granted the petition to hear this constitutional issue.
Issue: Whether the Fourth Amendment permits a jail to conduct a suspicionless strip search whenever an individual is arrested, including for minor offenses (i.e. traffic tickets or failure to pay a fine) Read about the case, U.S. Supreme Court Briefs filed, pleadings and more.