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No violation for police chalking tires



Chalking your tires isn’t the same as looking through your trunk without a warrant, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

Andre Verdun and Ian Anoush Golkar sued the city of San Diego in a class action alleging that tire chalking violated their Fourth Amendment rights against illegal searches and seizures.

Affirming a district court’s grant of summary judgment, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said that “(e)ven assuming that the occasional dusting of chalk on a tire constitutes a Fourth Amendment “search” , it falls within the administrative search exception to the requirement of discretion” and that the practice falls under “a broader program of traffic control.”

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The court went on to say that “tire chalking is reasonable in its scope and manner of execution. It is not used for general law enforcement purposes. And its invasion of personal liberty is at most de minimis. We hold that municipalities are not required to obtain warrants before chalking the tires as part of enforcing time limits in city parking lots.”


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