Mulvania v. Rock Island County Sheriff, No. 16-1711 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Mulvania, arrested for domestic battery, refused to exit the vehicle at the jail. Officers moved her. Mulvania’s speech was slurred, she screamed obscenities, and was physically combative. Mulvania claims she was experiencing a “post‐traumatic stress disorder flashback.” Mulvania tested positive for cocaine and cannabinoids that day. Mulvania refused to change into a jail uniform. The defendants claim that misdemeanor detainees are permitted to change in a private room when they are cooperative. Two female and three male officers restrained her, placed Mulvania on her stomach, held her arms over her head, and lifted her shirt off. Mulvania banged her head against the floor and yelled, “They’re going to rape me.” After removing her clothing, the officers draped a jail uniform over her body and left the cell. Minutes later, Mulvania had a seizure and was taken to the hospital. After she returned, she was released without charges. Mulvania filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and the Americans With Disabilities Act, amending her pleadings several times, claiming the jail had a widespread practice of conducting strip searches with excessive force and without accommodating people who are experiencing mental distress. Others joined the suit to challenge a policy that requires female detainees to either wear white underwear or no underwear. The Seventh Circuit affirmed rejection of Mulvania’s claims and denial of class certification, but reversed as to underwear claims.