Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Ind. Courts - ACLU challenges Clarksville ordinance that allows inspections without property owners permission [Updated]
Yesterday the ACLU of Indiana filed suit in SD Ind., Albany Div., in the case of Mary Hazel Upton v. Town of Clarksville. From the complaint:
On a number of occasions employees of the Town of Clarksville have entered Mary Hazel Upton’s property in Clarksville, without permission or warrant, to make inspections pursuant to the Town’s ordinances that the Town interprets as allowing such inspections. Ms. Upton is subject to similar searches in the future. Such searches, without consent or warrant, are unconstitutional and to the extent that the Town is interpreting its ordinances as allowing such searches the ordinances are unconstitutional. Appropriate injunctive and declaratory relief must enter. * * *ILB: Attached is a copy of the 5-page complaint plus the exhibits.
The actions of employees of the Town of Clarksville in entering plaintiff’s property without permission or without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the ordinances of the Town of Clarksville that purport to allow such entry violate the Fourth Amendment.
Updates: Here are some a few ILB posts on similar issues:
- 3/22/11 - "The SCOTUS declined today to take up the question of whether an environmental inspection of a private property can be viewed as an unconstitutional search and seizure."
- 6/18/08 - Old Paths Baptist Church v. Washington County Health Department et al. (NFP) - " The instant appeal involves the latest in a series of legal proceedings prompted by the efforts of the Washington County Health Department (“the Health Department”) to inspect property of Old Paths and its pastor, John Lewis (“Lewis”), for alleged sewage disposal violations, and the stance of Old Paths and Lewis that entry onto private land must be preceded by permission, a warrant, or exigent circumstances." The ILB commented:
The ILB counts at least three recent cases from Washington County re the legality of inspections by the health department based on complaints of sewage released to the ground. They all seem to come down to: "IC 16-20-1-23 should be interpreted to require that the WCHD must obtain judicial permission prior to conducting a health inspection, unless there is permission or exigent circumstances."
Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 14, 2016 09:27 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts