Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders

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Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Date decided April 2, 2012


A man named Florence was stopped by a New Jersey state trooper. Florence was riding in his SUV with his family. Florence had a history of being stopped by police officers for speeding in fancy cars. In fact, Florence was a salesman of an auto dealership.

Florence stated that he was the victim of racial profiling.

The New Jersey state trooper who stopped the Florence family found an outstanding arrest warrant for his arrest. Florence hadn't paid a fine for a prior traffic offense. Florence showed the officer a document that he had paid his traffic fine. Nevertheless, the state trooper handcuffed him and took him to the County Jail in New Jersey.

Florence was kept in prison for 6 days despite a New Jersey law at the time requiring him to be taken before a judge within 72 hours (3 days).

While in jail, Florence was subjected to strip-searches on two occasions.

Procedural History

A judge order the release of Florence after 6 days. Florence wife showed documents that he had paid the old traffic fine and the County officials verified this payment.


Should people arrested even without a suspicion of contraband (illegal weapons and drugs) be subjected to a strip search?

Was it okay to strip search a person when the issue was payment of a prior traffic citation?


People arrested--even for minor offenses--can be strip-searched upon arrest.


The Supreme Court ignored the distinction between major and minor crimes for an arrest and a strip-search.


Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of Burlington County, New Jersey.