Florence vs. Board of Chosen Freeholders of county of Burlington et al.

Florence vs. Board of Chosen Freeholders of county of Burlington et al.

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            1. The case is subtitled “Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit.” What is the meaning of “Certiorari”?

            Certiorari is an order by a higher court to review the subordinate court. In this the higher court request the lower court to bring the case forward so that it can review how the lower court has gone about with it.

            2. Which justice wrote the majority opinion for the court? Which justices joined him/her?

            Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Alito, Justice Breyer later on joined him,

            3. In five sentences or fewer and in your own words, what are the underlying facts of this case?

            The case involves a plaintiff who was found guilty of a misdemeanor and given a fine for a traffic offense. However, he felt that the police had violated his rights and went to the Supreme Court to seek a certiorari for the court to look at the decision of the lower courts but the court of appeal affirmed the decision by the lower courts.

            4. What was the main legal issue in this case? In other words, which constitutional provisions were allegedly violated?

            The main legal issues was whether the police had actually violated a fundamental right in the constitution. The right to privacy is the constitutional question in this case.

Who did Petitioner sue? (Who was defendant in original case?)

            5. The petitioner was the board of chosen freeholders of the county of Burlington.

            What was the decision of the District court?

            6.The district court held that there was a violation of the fourth amendment.

            7.And how about the Appeals court? What was their decision?

            The court of appeal upheld the decision of the district court.

            8. The U.S. Supreme Court noted in the majority decision that Appeals courts around the country have been split on this issue. Did this influence the Supreme Court’s decision to hear this case? Why?

            This did not affect this case as the court applied their discretion to see the events that had been currently been brought before the court and keep aside the ideas that had ever applied in other cases. The court was also interested to create a precedence as such.

            9. The majority cites the case Block v Rutherford, 468 U.S. 576. For what purpose did they bring up this case?

            The court used this decision to try and explain the reason for upholding the third circuit as such. This tries to explain the reasons as to why the court upheld it and also show situation which the issue of contraband banning could be used. The court used this to show that if the arrested party was a person of higher degree crime then he could be denied the rights.

            10. The court also raises Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517. What point were they trying to make here?

            The use of this case was also to try and explain why the court had made this decision as such and also show instances that such a decision would not amount to infringement of rights.

            11. And Atwater v. Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318 was discussed in depth. In your own words, what were the facts of that case?

            In the case the petitioner had come to court to seek whether undoubted security imperatives that are involved in jail supervision override an assertion that some of the detainees must evade from the invasive search.

            12.Why did the majority cite the Atwater case?

            The majority cited this case to act as a guideline as to whether there can be limitation to enjoyment some rights as such.

            1. The majority lists the many types of contraband that can be smuggled into jails. List at least six examples.

            Mobile Phones, Drugs, Weapons, Glass materials, Illegal clothing, Messages to other prisoners

            2. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was discussed. Why?

            This situation was discussed to show the situations that the right can be limited. The right is explained that it can be limited in cases that the arrested party would pose a threat to the security of the public.

            3. Chief Justice Roberts issued a “concurring” opinion. What is a “concurring” opinion?

            A concurring opinion is an opinion that goes in line with the decision and majority opinion of the courts.

            4. In your own words, what is Chief Justice Robert’s point?

            Chief justice Roberts tries to explain the impossibility of the court giving the exclusion of a rule delivered by the same court as such.

J            5. ustice Alito also filed a concurring opinion. What was his point?

            His opinion was that the court will not be present at all times to ensure that the offenders are not subjected to these conditions. He tries to explain the fact that a judicial officer cannot always be present in the police stations to ensure that the right is not infringed at all.

            6. Who wrote the dissenting opinion? And who joined him/her?

            The dissenting opinion was written by Justice by Breyer

            7. The dissent said that a certain standard should apply to searches. What standard were they recommending?

            The standard that he sets is the determination of the weight of cases so as to be able to know how serious a matter could be before opting to go ahead to conduct searches on a detainee.

            8. The dissent, too, cites Atwater v. Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 315. Why?

            The opinion cites this case to cite situations I which the right to privacy could be limited and not in minor offences such as the one brought before the court of justice.

            9. On page 5 of the dissent the justices refer to “amicus” briefs. What is an Amicus brief?

            As a matter of fact, an amicus brief simply means an intervening brief to a case presented before the court of law.

            10. What examples did the dissent include to show those strip-searched for minor offenses?

            The dissent uses the example of traffic offenders being subjected to the same manner just as the people involved in major state offences.

            11. If you were on the court, would you side with the majority, the dissent, or one of the concurring opinions? Why?

            Most importantly, I would side with the decent since they have managed to show conclusively how the right can be infringed as such and also tries to protect the rights of minor offenders as well.


Florence vs. Board of Chosen Freeholders of county of Burlington et al. (2012)566. U.S

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