The U.S. Supreme Court is taking new cases that it will hear and decide in the future, some of which may be of interest to local governments, including a case the Court accepted today. In City of Los Angeles v. Patel, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a City ordinance that required hotels to allow police to inspect hotel guest records, including the guest's name, address, make, model and license plate number of the guest's vehicle, and the guest's room number. The court of appeals held that the ordinance violated the Fourth Amendment as an unlawful warrantless search because it authorized inspections of these records without giving hotel owners any ability to challenge the reasonableness of the inspection in court before penalties would be imposed under the ordinance.
The Supreme Court will consider the following two issues in the case:
(1) Whether facial challenges to ordinances and statutes are permitted under the Fourth Amendment; and
(2) whether a hotel has an expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment in a hotel guest registry where the guest-supplied information is mandated by law and an ordinance authorizes the police to inspect the registry, and if so, whether the ordinance is facially unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment unless it expressly provides for pre-compliance judicial review before the police can inspect the registry.
You can read more on Scotusblog.com.
Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf