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Name: People v. Boulter
Case #: B230788
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 09/29/2011

A warrantless search of outdoor lockers for visitors on jail property is justified as an administrative search. Appellant, a jail visitor, secured his property in an outdoor locker provided for visitors. The lockers were on jail property, approximately 41 feet from the entrance to the visitor center where a sign stated no cameras, etc. were permitted and persons entering were subject to search. Appellant was subsequently seen in the visitor center with a camera and arrested and searched with locker keys recovered. The locker was searched and methamphetamine and other contraband were located. The appellate court upheld the search as a valid administrative search. More recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions concerning administrative searches have explained that the close regulation of a business or activity results in a reduced expectation of privacy of the business or individual, as opposed to the historical justification of an administrative search being based on implied consent. Here, with the jail’s need to maintain security, appellant is presumed to know that upon entering jail property, he and his belongings are subject to search and he impliedly consented to search or had a reduced expectation of privacy justifying the search of the locker. The court further found that regardless whether the locker search was a valid administrative search, appellant’s violation of jail rules by possessing a camera in the visitor center created a reasonable suspicion of threat to jail security justifying the search.