Judge rules involuntary catheteritizations are unconstitutional

May 1, 2020

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A federal judge has ruled that the involuntary catheterization of suspects to obtain urine samples is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange said Monday that forced catheterization violates the Fourth Amendment that protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.

South Dakota police used the catheters to obtain urine samples to determine if suspects had ingested drugs.

Lange calls involuntary catheterization a highly invasive and degrading procedure. He notes that two of the six plaintiffs weren’t arrested for, or suspected of, drug crimes. He says police can use a blood test to get evidence of illegal drug use.