Spencer v. Roche, No. 11-1146 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Police arrested plaintiff for driving without license. A confidential informant, who had provided reliable information in the past, told police that plaintiff had inserted a package of crack cocaine into his anal cavity just prior to the arrest. Over plaintiff's objection, officers conducted a visual inspection, then obtained a warrant and took plaintiff to the hospital, where a physician conducted a digital search, followed by an x-ray. The only type of x-ray that covers the entire anal cavity also captures images of other organs. No drugs were found. The district court rejected plaintiff's suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act. The First Circuit affirmed, finding that the x-ray was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment and state law.