US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Lewis v. Secretary of Public Safety & Corrections
Opinion Date: September 1, 2017
Judge: Priscilla R. Owen
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants in an action under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that plaintiff was subjected to unconstitutional strip searches while incarcerated at the Winn Correctional Center (WCC). In this case, the policies at issue were aimed at preventing the flow of contraband from the outside truck drivers and others to inmates in the Garment Factory and to the main prison, as well as to prevent the removal of items from the Garment Factory that could be used as weapons. The court held that plaintiff failed to rebut this reasonable justification of the strip and visual body searches and thus the district court did not err in granting summary judgment to defendants. The court also held that the LaDPSC and CCA internal rules and regulations did not alone create federally-protected rights and a prison official's failure to follow prison policies or regulations did not establish a violation of a constitutional right; rejected plaintiff's various challenges to discovery; and held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by dismissing the complaint against three named defendants based on failure to serve them properly.
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