10.79.090  <<  10.79.100 >>   10.79.110

Strip, body cavity searchesStandards for conducting.

(1) Persons conducting a strip search shall not touch the person being searched except as reasonably necessary to effectuate the strip search of the person.
(2) Any body cavity search must be performed under sanitary conditions and conducted by a physician, registered nurse, or physician's assistant, licensed to practice in this state, who is trained in the proper medical process and the potential health problems associated with a body cavity search. No health professional authorized by this subsection to conduct a body cavity search shall be held liable in any civil action if the search is conducted in a manner that meets the standards and requirements of RCW 4.24.290 and 7.70.040.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (7) of this section, a strip search or body cavity search, as well as presearch undressing or postsearch dressing, shall occur at a location made private from the observation of persons not physically conducting the search. A strip search or body cavity search shall be performed or observed only by persons of the same sex as the person being searched, except for licensed medical professionals as required by subsection (2) of this section.
(4) Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, no person may be present or observe during the search unless the person is necessary to conduct the search or to ensure the safety of those persons conducting the search.
(5) Nothing in this section prohibits a person upon whom a body cavity search is to be performed from having a readily available person of his or her choosing present at the time the search is conducted. However, the person chosen shall not be a person being held in custody by a law enforcement agency.
(6) RCW 10.79.080 and this section shall not be interpreted as expanding or diminishing the authority of a law enforcement officer with respect to searches incident to arrest or investigatory stop in public.
(7) A strip search of a person housed in a holding, detention, or local correctional facility to search for and seize a weapon may be conducted at other than a private location if there arises a specific threat to institutional security that reasonably requires such a search or if all persons in the facility are being searched for the discovery of weapons or contraband.


Effective dateSeverability1983 1st ex.s. c 42: See notes following RCW 10.79.060.
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