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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The plaintiff-appellants, Thomas Gene Brown, Cecil Jackson and L.B. Brumley, appeal the district court’s denial of their unlawful detention, invasion of privacy and oral harassment claims in their �1983 suit against Sheriff Robert Harris and Kaufman County. Defendants cross-appeal the district court’s judgment in favor of plaintiffs on their claims for illegal strip search, municipal liability against the county, nominal and punitive damages against Harris in his personal capacity and state constitutional declarative relief. HOLDING:Affirmed. Neither of the other two potential justifications for the strip search � arrest or identity in a warrant � mitigate the unlawfulness of the search. First, although two of the plaintiffs, Brumley and Brown, were arrested that evening, neither of the arrests justified strip searches under the applicable law. Brumley was arrested for disorderly conduct after he was strip searched; thus his post hoc arrest could not have justified the search. Brown was arrested before the search, but for attempting to enter the club (claiming he owned it) in spite of an officer’s order to leave the area. This court has allowed strip searches in custodial situations but not when the suspect has committed only a minor offense and there exists no reasonable suspicion that he might possess weapons or contraband. Although Brown was attempting to enter a club in which drugs were found, defendants offer no evidence for suspecting that he possessed weapons or contraband. Indeed, Harris admitted that he had no probable cause toward Brown; the arresting officer testified that he had no suspicion that Brown was carrying weapons; and prior to the strip search the officers took everything out of Brown’s pockets, revealing no weapons or drugs, and thereby dispelling any suspicion of illegal activity. As a result, the subsequent strip search, after reasonable suspicion had failed to mature into probable cause, was unreasonably intrusive. The affidavit that Harris filed to obtain the warrant was insufficient to justify a strip search of plaintiffs. The affidavit submitted for the warrant included as suspects “all other person or persons whose names, identities, and descriptions are unknown to the affiant.” The warrant itself only authorized the police to “enter the suspected place described in [the affidavit] and to there search for the personal property described . . . and to seize same and to arrest and bring before [the magistrate] each suspected party named in [the affidavit]” (emphasis added). None of the plaintiffs was named as a suspect in the affidavit. Furthermore, as confirmed by Ybarra v. Illinois, 444 U.S. 85 (1979), because the Fourth Amendment requires particularity, “ ‘open-ended’ or”general’ warrants are constitutionally prohibited.” To construe this warrant as authorizing a general search of any person found in the club would sanction exactly the type of general warrant that the Constitution forbids. The strip search of the plaintiffs was unlawful because Harris lacked probable cause toward each of them. Three cases dispel any doubt that the law was clearly established by the night of the raid in April, 1995, that strip-searching individuals, about whom the police had no individualized probable cause of weapon or drug possession, was unlawful: Ybarra; Stewart v. Lubbock County, 767 F.2d 153 (5th Cir. 1985); and Watt v. Richardson Police Department, 849 F.2d 195 (5th Cir. 1988). This in turn precludes Harris’ entitlement to qualified immunity. Because the law enforcement interest proffered does not justify such lengthy, public intrusions on plaintiffs, the court holds the prolonged detention of plaintiffs to be unlawful. Under the law as it existed in April 1995, Harris had fair warning that his generalized law enforcement safety interests did not justify strip searching plaintiffs; the law was less clear about whether these same interests were sufficient to permit detention of plaintiffs until the completion of the otherwise unlawful search. The court agrees with the district court’s grant of qualified immunity on plaintiffs’ unlawful detention claims. OPINION:Wiener, J.; Wiener, Barksdale and Furgeson, JJ.

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