By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit by New York City's correction officers union to end a city policy allowing guards to be strip-searched and disciplined when drug-sniffing dogs detect narcotics on them.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association lacked standing to bring claims over the "canine sniffs," including that the searches violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

She said this was because no member could demonstrate an "actual or imminent" risk, as opposed to a "conjectural or hypothetical" risk, that the sniffs would uncover illegal drugs, or trigger false positive alerts because of guards' proximity to inmates who use them.


According to court papers, the policy requires officers to be searched when dogs detect narcotics, and subjects them to suspension and possible arrest if contraband is found, or suspension for refusing to be searched.

A lawyer for the union did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

On May 19, authorities announced criminal charges accusing 17 people, including two guards, of involvement in a extensive network to smuggle weapons and drugs into the Rikers Island jail complex.

The case is Correction Officers' Benevolent Association v City of New York, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 15-05914.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)

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