Judge tosses class-action suit over jail searches


May 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of up to 3,000 individuals who were strip-searched following their arrest on misdemeanor charges in Woodbury County in 2006 and 2007. U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett ruled Wednesday the claims, filed in 2010, were barred by the state’s two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Sioux City residents who were arrested on serious misdemeanor charges such as drunken driving filed the lawsuit alleging the strip searches violated their privacy rights and were humiliating. They allege the jail’s unwritten policy from 1980 until it was discarded in 2007 was to conduct strip searches, including visual body cavity inspection, of all pretrial detainees.