New York’s High Court Rules on Cavity Searches

The New York Court of Appeals decided People v. Hall on Tuesday and held that police can strip-search someone under arrest and look inside his or her body cavities without a warrant, provided they have reason to suspect evidence is concealed in a cavity. Police cannot, however, physically search a cavity without getting a court warrant.

Judge Graffeo wrote for the majority:

We conclude that a visual body inspection may be conducted if the police have a factual basis supporting a reasonable suspicion that the arrestee has evidence concealed inside a body cavity and the search is conducted in a reasonable manner.  There must be particular, individualized facts known to the police that justify subjecting an arrestee to these procedures.

Slip opinion for People v. Hall is here.