Patel v. City of Los Angeles

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 07-17-2012
  • Case #: 08-56567
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Clifton for the Court, Circuit Judge Bea; Circuit Judge Pregerson dissenting
  • Full Text Opinion

A municipal code requiring hotel operators to retain and make available certain guest information is not facially unconstitutional under the 4th Amendment.

The Patels, Los Angeles hotel owners and operators, brought a facial challenge to a provision of the Los Angeles Municipal Code requiring hotel operators to collect and retain certain guest information, and make that information available to police. They alleged that the code provision is unconstitutional because it subjects them to unreasonable, warrantless searches and seizures not subject to any recognized warrant exception. The Court stated that hotel guests have no reasonable expectation of privacy in information turned over to hotel operators, and that the Patels presented no evidence to show hotel owners and operators have a reasonable expectation of privacy in guest registers. The Court did not foreclose the possibility that a situation may exist where hotel operators do have a reasonable expectation of privacy in guest registries, but stated that the Patels failed to establish in their facial challenge “that no set of circumstances exist under which the Act would be valid.” The dissent stated that “warrantless searches by police are per se unreasonable” and the majority failed to put forth a “specifically established and well-delineated exception.” AFFIRMED.

Advanced Search