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No violation for cops chalking tires

Posted On: Oct. 28, 2022 11:33 AM CST

chalking tires

Chalking one’s tires is not the same as looking through your trunk without a warrant, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

Andre Verdun and Ian Anoush Golkar sued the City of San Diego in a class action alleging that tire chalking violated their Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful searches and seizures.

In affirming a district court’s granting of summary judgment, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said that “(e)ven assuming the temporary dusting of chalk on a tire constitutes a Fourth Amendment ‘search,’ it falls within the administrative search exception to the warrant requirement” and that the practice falls under “a broader program of traffic control.”

The court went on to say that “tire chalking is reasonable in its scope and manner of execution. It is not used for general crime control purposes. And its intrusion on personal liberty is de minimis at most. We hold that municipalities are not required to obtain warrants before chalking tires as part of enforcing time limits on city parking spots.”