New Mexico Woman Billed for Police Body Cavity Search
By Eugene Volokh
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, “A Las Cruces woman has been charged $1,122 by a local hospital for a forcible body cavity search ordered by the Metro Narcotics Agency that did not turn up any illegal substances.” (The search was conducted pursuant to a search warrant, based on what the police said was “‘credible information from a reliable source’ that the woman was concealing up to an ounce of heroin”; for more details, see here.)
Fortunately, a story a couple of days later relates that the county did indeed pay — which I think they’d have to do, since I see no legal basis for holding the woman responsible for a procedure that she didn’t seek and didn’t benefit from. The involvement of a lawyer, though, suggests that it took some work and expense to get the county to pay, work and expense that the woman shouldn’t have been put through (even assuming the search itself was justified).