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A lawsuit filed in federal court, was granted class action status yesterday by a US District Court Judge. The lawsuit seeks a minimum of $3 million dollars in a strip-search case.

The lawsuit was filed by a 47-year old woman of Ellenburg in northern New York. The lawsuit alleges she was illegally strip-searched in a county jail on March 2003 after being arrested on misdemeanor charges for the mistreatment of animals.

In filing the lawsuit, her attorney said, people charged with minor crimes shouldn’t be subjected to strip searches unless the jail officials have a reason to believe they are hiding something.

Class action status means, other people who have been charged with misdemeanors, violations and infractions who were strip-searched at the county jail, can also be included in the lawsuit.

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