HELENA (AP) — A lawsuit alleges possible hundreds of inmates were illegally strip searched when they were booked into the Lewis and Clark County jail in Helena.
Montana law does not allow strip searches for people being detained for misdemeanors or traffic offenses unless there is some reasonable suspicion that the person is concealing a weapon, contraband or evidence of a crime.
The Independent Record reports the class action lawsuit was filed in District Court in Helena on Wednesday on behalf of 39 plaintiffs estimates that up to 2,500 people were illegally strip searched over the past three years without any documented reason.
The lawsuit seeks injunctions to prevent such searches along with monetary damages.
County Attorney Leo Gallagher said he forwarded the complaint to the Montana Association of Counties, which provides the county’s liability insurance.