"There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. Byrd next suggests that under the government’s rule, police officers would have an incentive to pull over any rental car they see, in the hope that the driver would not be listed on the rental agreement and they could search the car. Once inside, they smelled “an overwhelmingly strong odor of marijuana.” Ultimately, officers found equipment for a hash oil lab and several firearms, including a 12-gauge shotgun, a .50-caliber rifle, and an Uzi. The easier option, Byrd concludes, is to establish a bright-line rule that if the driver of a rental car has permission from either the owner of the car or the person renting it, he has a reasonable expectation of privacy. And here is an interview with Dr. Phillip Smith, lead plaintiff in Smith v. Ayotte, the federal lawsuit that challenged NH's unconstitutional inspection statute. Byrd next argues that it doesn’t matter whether he was listed as an authorized driver on the rental agreement because that agreement is just a business contract, which has nothing to do with reasonable expectations of privacy. Courts have long upheld warrantless searches under “exigent circumstances,” or emergency situations that require “swift action” and when police don’t have enough time to get a warrant. Byrd then outlines a series of problems that, he contends, would flow from a ruling for the government. Reed signed a rental agreement that indicated that additional drivers were only permitted “with prior written consent.” When Reed left the facility, she allowed Byrd to take the wheel; shortly thereafter, he began a solo trip in the rental car from New Jersey to Pittsburgh. Argument analysis: Two paths forward in lawsuit alleging unconstitutional police violence, U.S.

February 2005 -- A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit without considering the merits of the case, arguing that the federal court does not have jurisdiction over this matter due to the Tax Injunction Act. for contact information). As a Portsmouth, NH official stated in 2005, "we don't follow that process." -- Mark Twain. Indeed, three other justices would have upheld the search in Ray but based on exigent circumstances. In turn, that would allow police to “resolve the possibility someone inside required assistance or property needed protection.”, This was a radical break from the Fourth Amendment. Fish and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club (19-547), Salinas v. U.S. Railroad Retirement Bd. However, only New Hampshire and Wisconsin promise the worst of both worlds, both eliminating all rights of appeal and authorizing the issuing of administrative warrants to allow assessing officials into your house. “There were no reports that shots had been fired, that defendant had threatened anyone else, or that there were any victims inside the house.”. But the lead opinion in Ray only garnered three votes, not a majority, meaning it wasn’t actually binding precedent. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File), EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change. Nevertheless, the appellate court in Ovieda’s case relied on that opinion when it upheld searching his home as constitutional. Those services, the brief explains, use agreements that are stored online rather than kept in the car; the agreements differ from traditional rental-car companies’ and – depending on the specific business model – are also often different from their competitors’. Two cases are particularly relevant:

Update, "The tax assessor. If you're a New Hampshire resident and you or someone you know has had their home inspected by assessing officials as a result of the issuing of an administrative warrant, we want to hear from you--please contact us at webmaster@hb-rights.org. “If that alone were the test” for whether Byrd had a reasonable expectation of privacy, the government contends, then it wouldn’t even matter whether he had Reed’s permission to drive the car. Instead, he suggests, the “authorized driver” provision of the rental agreement is simply intended to allow rental car companies to collect additional fees and shift liability for any accidents to the driver. The government first counters that such a scenario is purely hypothetical and not presented by this case, because Byrd was not the authorized driver and had no reason to be driving the car. First, the courts have held that residents (homeowners and renters) have the right to refuse a warrantless search without penalty. This means that law enforcement agents need probable cause, and a warrant in most cases, to search your person or belongings. These fees can add up, but there could soon be another reason to pay them: Depending on how the Supreme Court rules in the upcoming case of a New Jersey man, Terrence Byrd, drivers who are not listed as authorized drivers on the rental agreement may not be entitled to the same protections under the Fourth Amendment as those who are included on the agreement. If you're a NH resident and want this law repealed, contact your legislator and make your feelings known (see "who is my legislator?" See, for example, this 2006 New York decision in which the judge held that a homeowner could challenge his property assessment even though he refused to submit to an interior inspection. The case centered around Willie Ovieda, who threatened to commit suicide in June 2015. Awarded the American Gavel Award for Distinguished Reporting About the Judiciary to recognize the highest standards of reporting about courts and the justice system. On the legislative side, I’ve worked with state and federal lawmakers from both parties to overhaul civil forfeiture and occupational licensing, securing landmark reforms in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Nebraska and New Hampshire. James Madison, "No one's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session." Byrd then pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Awarded the Silver Gavel Award by the American Bar Association for fostering the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system. Argument preview: For Fourth Amendment purposes, does it matter who is on the car-rental agreement?, The judge also held that the $60 fee the Village charged when an individual demanded a search warrant was an unconstitutional condition on the exercise of Fourth Amendment rights, but left open some issues. Finally, the state argued that community caretaking is similar to municipal rental inspections, which have long granted renters fewer Fourth Amendment … -- James Otis, 1761. August 2004 -- A federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of New Hampshire's home inspection law was filed in Concord, NH on behalf of four NH residents by the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based public interest law firm dedicated to preserving individual rights. First, he warns, if the 3rd Circuit’s decision is allowed to stand, even the driver would not have any reasonable expectation of privacy if he violated the terms of the rental agreement – a common occurrence.
© Even though police had no reason to believe anyone else was inside or in danger, two officers entered the home anyway with guns drawn, in order to conduct a “protective sweep to secure their premises.” Police never obtained a warrant. Local government agents do not have unlimited authority to force entry into Ohioans’ homes or …


A NH state law (RSA) is being used to intimidate homeowners into allowing interior inspections of their homes by tax assessors, even though the right to refuse a warrantless search without penalty is guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. The Nelsons and other renters claim that the city is violating their constitutional rights, and last year petitioned the Supreme Court to review the city’s actions. Outside of Forbes, my work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Post, Barron’s, The Guardian, Slate, Wired, Reason, and numerous newspapers nationwide.

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