District Judge Katherine B. Forrest


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When pro se plaintiff state inmate was detained at the Anna M. Kross Center (AMKC) on Riker’s Island, correction officer Emery and captain Plaskett instructed him to go to the AMKC gym for a contraband search. Plaskett supervised Emery’s performance of the search. While strip searching plaintiff, Emery directed him to face the wall, squat and cough. While plaintiff did so Emery placed a gloved finger on plaintiff’s rectum for one to two seconds. Both Plaskett and Emery stated that Emery was seeking drugs and weapons. District court granted defendants summary judgment in plaintiff’s 42 USC §1983 suit alleging that the search, including the rectal search, violated his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Distinguishing Harris v. Miller, 818 F.3d 49, the court found no genuine factual issue as to whether the subject search was reasonably undertaken for legitimate penological goals. Although invasive, the rectal search did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation. Further, Emery and Plaskett were entitled to qualified immunity under Crawford v. Cuomo, 796 F.3d 252. Reasonable corrections officers would easily conclude that the one to two second touch of plaintiff’s rectum while searching for drugs would be permissible.