Q: I'm a tenant in a large apartment complex. Management regularly allows residents to rent out the clubhouse for private parties, and I'd like to do so for a graduation celebration for our son. The contract they handed me includes a provision giving them the right to administer breath tests to guests, and to even pat them down if security thinks it's warranted. I think these acts are grossly invasive of our privacy, and I'm wondering if they're legal. --Beth S. A: In the eyes of the law, a pat-down is a search, and subject to the legal requirements of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. That Amendment, and Supreme Court cases that have interpreted it, require the government to have "probable cause" and a warrant before they conduct a search. There are a few exceptions to this requirement -- when the police are in "hot pursuit" of a fleeing criminal, and when they must act to preserve evidence of an important crime -- and one clearly...
by Brad Inman | on Mar 21, 2017
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