Monday, March 13, 2017

Pennsylvania Borough Circumvents 4th Amendment With Administrative Warrants

Source: Institute for Justice

The Borough of Pottstown, PA has repeatedly searched Dottie and Omar Rivera's rental home without probable cause of any violation of the law or their landlord's consent. This is part of the borough rental inspection scheme, which allows them to search rental houses without any evidence that there is something wrong with a house or that the renters have done anything wrong by obtaining an administrative warrant. The fourth amendment dictates that warrants should not be issued unless they are based on probable cause and describe the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Unless borough officials have a fair probability of finding evidence of wrongdoing or negligence on either the renter's or landlord's part they do not have probable cause to search Omar and Dottie's home. If they haven't found anything in previous inspections and continue to search the renter's home with an administrative warrant, then they definitely do not have probable cause and are conducting an illegal search.

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