child abuse, strip search, Fourth Amendment, consent


This Note considers the Fourth Amendment concerns raised by strip searches of children in child abuse investigations. The Note first describes the evolution of children's rights and identifies the interests of the child and parents in child abuse investigations. The Note then analyzes the two exceptions under which a nude search of a child's body may be conducted - consent and exigent circumstances, as well as the qualified immunity defense with respect to social workers and police officers. Finally, this Note concludes that a child should possess the authority to consent to a strip search in a child abuse investigation and suggests that the evidentiary standard for the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment should be lowered from probable cause to reasonable suspicion.



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