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Supreme Court denies hearing case on school strip search

Alex Swoyer The Washington TimesMay 20, 2019

The Supreme Court announced Monday it won’t hear an appeal from mother who sued after her daughter was strip-searched by a child abuse investigator who never obtained a warrant.

Without comment, the justices declined to take up the case against April Woodard, a state caseworker in Colorado who performed the strip search after claiming she saw signs of abuse and was compelled to investigate. The allegations proved unfounded.

The mother and daughter, who remain anonymous in court documents, argued in their appeal that Ms. Woodard could have examined the girl without disrobing her.

The family’s lawsuit was rejected by a lower court which ruled Ms. Woodard was protected by qualified immunity, which shields government workers when they act in official capacity.

The mother and daughter had hoped the high court would reconsider the doctrine of qualified immunity, or set a clear standard for strip searching a child, arguing some circuit courts have required a warrant while other circuits have not.

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