§ 1983 unless [plaintiff] proved the existence of an unconstitutional municipal policy." Praprotnik, 485 U.S. at 128; see also Pembaur, 475 U.S. at 469; O'Callaghan, 741 F. Supp. at 277. The Court holds that the D.C. Department of Corrections' regulations authorizing searches of its employees is not unconstitutional and, further, that the search at issue was supported by reasonable suspicion and did not violate the plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights. Therefore, the District of Columbia faces no liability under § 1983 from either Administrator Roach's actions or from the underlying regulations which authorized his actions.
IV. COMMON LAW CLAIMS
The plaintiff has also advanced common law claims of assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In order to make out a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, the plaintiff must show "extreme and outrageous conduct [which] intentionally or recklessly causes severe distress . . . . The conduct, in fact, must be so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency." Jackson v. District of Columbia, 412 A.2d 948, 956-57 (D.C. App. 1980). The Court holds that the strip search and the alleged visual body cavity search were conducted reasonably and in accordance with the applicable Department of Corrections regulations. The plaintiff has failed to allege facts which, if proven, could lead to a conclusion that the defendants' acts met the legal standard for a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress; that is, conduct which was wanton, outrageous, in the extreme, or calculated to cause serious mental distress. See Downey v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 630 F. Supp. 676, 681 (D.D.C. 1986).
A defendant is liable for assault if he (1) acts intentionally (2) to cause harmful or offensive contact with another person or imminent apprehension of such a contact, and (3) the other person is thereby put in such imminent apprehension. Rogers v. Loews L'Enfant Plaza Hotel, 526 F. Supp. 523, 529 (D.D.C. 1981).
Defendants contend that the plaintiff failed to state a cause of action for assault since the record revealed that the strip search and visual body cavity search were consensual. The plaintiff's affidavit states that she refused to consent to either search. Whether the search was consensual is immaterial to the Court's analysis given the Court's conclusion that the search was reasonable and, therefore, the defendants had authority to conduct the search. Legal authority to conduct the search is a valid defense to a claim of assault. The Court, therefore, shall dismiss the plaintiff's claim for assault.
A "plaintiff suing at common law for false imprisonment must show that he has suffered an imprisonment and that the imprisonment was unlawful." Dellums v. Powell, 184 App. D.C. 275, 566 F.2d 167, 175 (D.C. Cir. 1977). Probable cause for an arrest and detention constitutes a valid defense to a claim of false arrest
or imprisonment. Gabrou v. May Dept. Stores Co., 462 A.2d 1102 (D.C. App. 1983) (citing Wade v. District of Columbia, 310 A.2d 857, 862 (D.C. App. 1973)). While the plaintiff was not under arrest, the Court has found that the jail officials had reasonable suspicion to detain her for the search. Since it is not necessary to prove probable cause "in the constitutional sense," this Court finds that the defendants had, in addition to reasonable suspicion, "a good faith, reasonable belief in the validity of the . . . detention" which is sufficient to defeat a claim of false imprisonment. Gabrou, 462 A.2d at 1103; Wade, 310 A.2d at 862.
For the reasons stated above, the Court shall grant the defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment as to the Fourth Amendment claim and the claim for false imprisonment and shall grant the defendants' Motion to Dismiss as to the claims for assault and for intentional infliction of emotional distress. In so doing, the Court holds that the defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. Further, the Court holds that the District of Columbia is not liable under Section 1983 since the search policy of the Department of Correction poses no constitutional problems. Even if the policy was unconstitutional, the jail official who authorized the search of the plaintiff holds no final policymaking authority necessary to bind the District. Accordingly, the plaintiff's case is dismissed.
Thomas F. Hogan, United States District Judge
Date: 29 August 1991
ORDER - September 3, 1991, Filed
In accordance with the Memorandum Opinion issued in the above-captioned case on August 29, 1991, it is this 29th day of August, 1991, hereby
(1) Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment as to Counts IV, V and VI is granted;
(2) Defendants' Motion to Dismiss as to Counts I, II and III are granted;
(3) The above-captioned case is dismissed.
Thomas F. Hogan, United States District Judge