J.B., a Minor v. James B. Fassnacht, et al., Case No. 15-903

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that under the Fourth Amendment strip searches of children should be governed by the same standard for adults set forth in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of Cty. of Burlington, 132 S. Ct. 1510 (2012), which in effect allows for a blanket strip-search policy in youth detention facilities. CLC joined J.B. v. James B. Fassnacht as amici curiae in support of the petitioner, J.B., a minor child. Amici urged the court to grant S.B.’s petition for a writ of certiorari, which challenged the widespread practice of blanket strip-searches of youth entering juvenile detention centers across the nation on the basis that the practice is uniquely harmful to children. Children and adolescents, who are still in the developmental stage, are significantly more likely than their adult counterparts to experience severe psychological trauma when subjected to strip searches. Given the practice's significant psychological impact, the amici argued that the balancing test for reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment must be tailored specifically to children when considering the use of strip searches at juvenile detention centers. Furthermore, the amici concluded that through the already existing intake process officers can reasonably implement an individualized suspicion standard. Thus, the amici contended that the Court should grant J.B.’s petition and reverse the Third Circuit Court’s decision.

Brief for Amici Curiae