First Installment of Semi-Regular Attorney Hero Acknowledgment

If you are like me.  And you’ve ever been frustrated with yellow chalk on your car tires courtesy of parking enforcement.  There’s good news.  Well at least if you reside in a state encompassed by the 6th Circuit which includes Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. 

In short, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit unanimously agreed that chalking tires is tantamount to a trespass.  The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits “unreasonable searches and seizures”.  The court held chalking tires is indeed a “search” under a Fourth Amendment analysis. 

Furthermore, the court held the search was not reasonable, the city searched ‘lawfully parked vehicles without probable cause or even individualized suspicion of wrongdoing’ the standard for a reasonableness analysis under the Fourth Amendment. 

So without further adieu, a hearty congratulations to the attorneys who litigated this issue all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.  Who knows?  Maybe someday this issue will be litigated successfully in the 9th Circuit which includes Washington and Oregon. 

See the NPR article here.

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