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4th Circuit declines challenge to strip searches in Md. jails

(AP) A federal appeals court has declined to reinstate lawsuits challenging strip-search and delousing practices in West Virginia and Maryland jails. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday unanimously upheld lower court rulings dismissing the complaints. Both lawsuits were filed before the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling that jailers may perform invasive strip searches on people arrested even for minor offenses. Plaintffs’ attorneys argued that the 5-4 decision dealt with a person who was placed in the general jail population after arraignment. They noted that two concurring opinions questioned whether the ruling should apply to detainees segregated from other inmates. The appeals court said jail officials were entitled to immunity because they did not violate rights that had been clearly established at the time.