Last year, we reported the following: No Fourth Amendment Protection In Hotel Registry Records. A Los Angeles City ordinance requires hotel operators to maintain certain registry information concerning guests, including their names, addresses and vehicle information, and to make the information available to police officers upon request. Motel operator challenged the ordinance, arguing it amounted to an unreasonable invasion of his private business records without a warrant. Both the trial court and the Ninth Circuit rejected the challenge, finding registry information was not private from the operator’s perspective and there was no reasonable expectation of privacy. (Patel v. City of Los Angeles (Ninth Cir.; July 17, 2012) 686 F.3d 1085.)
An en banc Ninth Circuit reconsidered the matter and stated: “We hold that [L.A. Mun. Code] § 41.49’s requirement that hotel guest records ‘shall be made available to any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for inspection’ is facially invalid under the Fourth Amendment insofar as it authorizes inspections of those records without affording an opportunity to ‘obtain judicial review of the reasonableness of the demand prior to suffering penalties for refusing to comply.’ See, 387 U.S. at 545. Because this procedural deficiency affects the validity of all searches authorized by § 41.49(3)(a), there are no circumstances in which the record-inspection provision may be constitutionally applied. See United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 745, 107 S.Ct. 2095; 95 L.Ed.2d 697 (1987). Facial invalidation of the provision, as plaintiffs have requested, is therefore appropriate.” (Patel v. City of Los Angeles (Ninth Cir. En Banc.; December 24, 2013) 738 F.3d 1058.)
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