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black man in suit staring

New Jersey- A New Jersey man wants the Supreme Court to take his case after he was jailed and strip searched twice for a traffic fine.

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Albert W. Florence was in the passenger seat of his BMW when his wife was pulled over by a state trooper for speeding in March 2005.   When the trooper ran Florence’s records and found a warrant for a supposedly unpaid offense, Florence provided documented proof  that he paid the 2003 fine.

However, he was held for eight days on a charge of civil contempt before the situation was figured out.

Florence hopes that the Supreme Court will stop the humiliating process of routine strip-searches for non-indictable offenses; while corrections officials maintain that without searches, people could potentially smuggle illegal contraband into the prison.

“It is plausible,” Judge Thomas M. Hardiman wrote, “that incarcerated persons will induce or recruit others to subject themselves to arrest on nonindictable offenses to smuggle weapons or other contraband into the facility.”

“I consider myself a man’s man,” said Mr. Florence, “six-three. Big guy. It was humiliating. It made me feel less than a man. It made me feel not better than an animal.”

A decision on whether his case will be heard could come Monday.



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