U.S. Supreme Court finds unconstitutional LA ordinance requiring hotels to make guest registry available to police for inspection on demand

On June 22, 2015, the Supreme Court affirmed, in a 5-4 decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal’s conclusion that the law must give hotel owners a right to object to police demanding to see their registries at any given hour of the day.

The Court struck as facially unconstitutional Los Angeles Municipal Code § 41.49, which requires hotel operators to keep records of their guests for a ninety-day period and to make them “available to any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for inspection on demand”.

According to the Court, the ordinance is unconstitutional “because it fails to provide hotel operators with an opportunity for precompliance review”.

“Absent an opportunity for precompliance review, the ordinance creates an intolerable risk that searches authorized by it will exceed statutory limits. Even if a hotel has been searched 10 times a day, every day, for three months, without any violation being found, the operator can only refuse to comply with an officer’s demand to turnover the registry at his or her own peril.”

The ruling Los Angeles vs. Patel is available at http://www.supremecourt.gov…                              Open Pdf

More information is available at http://www.latimes.com…


For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal

Follow us on& Like us on