Chapter 11 • “SPECIAL NEEDS” SEARCH & SEIZURE ISSUES • Special needs of the GOVERNMENT to ensure public safety • Special “regulatory” needs • Private businesses are NOT covered by the 4th amendment provisions.
Examples of “Special” searches • Security Screening at Airports, Courthouses, and public buildings or places • Border searches, customs and INS • Roadblocks, DUI “Checkpoints” • Drug trafficking? K-9’s? • Fire, Health, Motor Vehicle, Education, Housing, inspections
Circumstances where special needs would justifysuspicion-less highway stops • Detecting drunk drivers • Verifying driver’s licenses and vehicle registration • Intercepting illegal aliens on border highways • Apprehending fleeing criminals • Thwarting terrorist activity or attack
Evidence is admissible if obtained during an administrative function under the “Special Needs” of government • In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court held that… • “Probable cause standard is Peculiarly related to criminal investigations” and • “ may be unhelpful in analyzing the reasonableness of routine administrative functions”.
Thousands of administrative searches and functions are conducted everyday by local, state, and federal employees. • The majority of these employees are not law enforcement officers. • They are not conducting criminal investigations but are conducting administrative functionsthat are related to thespecial needs of the governmentand the community.
Examples of searches without probable cause or search warrants of “Closely regulated businesses” • Search warrants are generally required for the administrative searches of commercial properties. However search warrants are not required for searches of “closely regulated” industries.
U.S Supreme Court in 1987 case of New York v. Burger, 482 U.S.691, 107 S.Ct.2636. 3 requirementsare needed: • There must be a “substantial” government interest that informs the business operator of the “regulatory scheme” to which the inspection is to be made. • The inspection without a search warrant must be “necessary to further the regulatory scheme”
The regulatory law must perform the two basic functions of a search warrant • It must advise the business owner that a search is to be made pursuant to the law • The law must limit the discretion of the inspecting officers
Drug Testing? • With or without “reasonable suspicion?” • Private business may test employees without it! • Government Employees must be tested under three conditions: (w/reasonable suspicion) • To ensure that the employee has “unimpeachable integrity and judgment.” • To Enhance Public Safety • Protecting truly sensitive information
Work-Related searches in government offices • Private employers may make work-related searchesof employees’ desks, files, and company-owned computers as they wish. • Public supervisors have wide latitude to search public employee’s offices, desks, and files without a search warrant or probable cause.
Ortega Rule • Work Related Searches in Public Safety or Government Offices • Wide Latitude to search but… • Greater justification needed to search “personal items.” • Briefcase, handbag, backpack, etc.