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The marking of car tires by law enforcement officers has been ruled to be a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.   A Federal Appeals Court in Michigan has ruled the marking of tires is a “trespass” and requires a warrant.

The Fourth Amendment protects people from “ unreasonable searches and seizures.”   So the question(s) need to be asked:

  1. Is the act of marking vehicle tires a “search?” and;
  1. Is the “search” reasonable?

The Michigan Court ruled marking tires is indeed a search, and that officers physically trespassed upon a constitutionally protected area; the parked vehicle.

Clearly an interesting and debatable opinion holding that chalking car tires for parking enforcement purposes violates the Fourth Amendment.  The next issue will be whether filming/taking a photo of vehicles (instead of the chalking) is also a violation  – – – time will tell!

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals only covers four states, not California.

If you have questions on any type of legal issues here in California, contact the Law Offices of Heiting & Irwin, for an initial evaluation/opinion.

Dennis Stout is a native Californian with significant ties to the Inland Empire, where he continues to reside. A graduate of Upland High School, the University of California, Riverside (B.S. Economics), and the University of La Verne (J.D.), Mr. Stout has practiced law continuously since 1979. He has been married to his wife, Alicia (R.N., C.E.N., M.I.C.N.) since that same year, and they have three adult children, all of whom live in Southern California. View Attorney Dennis Stout's Attorney Bio Here.

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