Judge says state can’t force catheter­i­za­tions

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - NATION & WORLD -

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota law en­force­ment of­fi­cers can­not rely on in­vol­un­tary catheter­i­za­tion to ob­tain urine sam­ples from suspects be­cause it is un­con­sti­tu­tional, a fed­eral judge has ruled.

Chief Judge Roberto Lange of the U.S. Dis­trict Court for South Dakota said that forced catheter­i­za­tion violates the Fourth Amend­ment, which pro­tects cit­i­zens from un­rea­son­able searches and seizures.

Po­lice used the catheters to ob­tain urine sam­ples to de­ter­mine if suspects had in­gested drugs, the Ar­gus Leader re­ported.

“De­fen­dants’ need to ob­tain the plain­tiffs’ urine to prove a low-level drug crime did not jus­tify sub­ject­ing the plain­tiffs to in­vol­un­tary catheter­i­za­tion, a highly in­va­sive — and in these cases — de­grad­ing med­i­cal pro­ce­dure,” Lange wrote in his 106page opin­ion.

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