U.S Judge approves settlement over forced catherizations in South Dakota

U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange approves a settlement in a case that says forced catheterizations to obtain urine samples is unconstitutional.

The ACLU of South Dakota and attorney Jim Leach of Rapid City filed the Fourth Amendment case on behalf of several people against the cities and police departments of Wagner, Pierre and Sisseton and the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants agreed to collectively pay a total of $440,000 in damages, legal costs and attorney’s fees.

The plaintiffs said they were held down and subjected to involuntary catheterization after police obtained search warrants for urine samples to detect the presence of drugs

Judge Lange said it was a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches. He found that the mere suspicion of low-level drug crimes did not justify the invasive and painful procedure.


September 16, 2020