NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A federal court has ruled in favor of two New Jersey jails in a case involving strip searches of arrestees.

The class-action suit was brought by a southern New Jersey man who said he was strip-searched at county jails in Burlington and Essex counties after being arrested for not paying a traffic fine.

A federal judge in New Jersey ruled in Albert Florence’s favor last year, and the counties appealed.

In a 2-1 ruling published Tuesday, the Third Circuit in Philadelphia held that the jails have the right to strip-search arrestees regardless of whether or not they have been arrested for a violent crime.

In federal cases in other states, courts have been divided over what circumstances are necessary to justify the searches.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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