__ U.S. __ (2015), 13-1175, City of Los Angeles v. Patel

Docket Nº:13-1175
Citation:__ U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2443, 192 L.Ed.2d 435, 83 U.S.L.W. 4520
Opinion Judge:SOTOMAYOR, JUSTICE.
Party Name:CITY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, PETITIONER v. NARANJIBHAI PATEL, ET AL
Attorney:E. Joshua Rosenkranz argued the cause for petitioner. Michael R. Dreeben argued the cause for the United States, as amicus curiae, by special leave of the court. Thomas C. Goldstein argued the cause for respondents.
Judge Panel:SOTOMAYOR, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which KENNEDY, GINSBURG, BREYER, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS, J., joined. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined. JUSTICE SCALIA, with whom THE...
Case Date:June 22, 2015
Court:United States Supreme Court
SUMMARY

The city of Los Angeles requires hotel operators to record and keep specific information about their guests on the premises for a 90-day period, “available to any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for inspection . . . at a time and in a manner that minimizes any interference with the operation of the business.” Violation is a criminal misdemeanor. In a facial challenge to the ordinance on Fourth... (see full summary)

 
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__ U.S. __ (2015)

135 S.Ct. 2443, 192 L.Ed.2d 435, 83 U.S.L.W. 4520, 25 Fla.L.Weekly Fed. S 412

CITY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, PETITIONER

v.

NARANJIBHAI PATEL, ET AL

No. 13-1175

United States Supreme Court

June 22, 2015

[135 S.Ct. 2444] Argued March 3, 2015.

Editorial Note:

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the printed official reporter.

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

Affirmed.

SYLLABUS

[135 S.Ct. 2445] [192 L.Ed.2d 440] Petitioner, the city of Los Angeles (City), requires hotel operators to record and keep specific information about their guests on the premises for a 90-day period. Los Angeles Municipal Code § 41.49. These records " shall be made available to any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for inspection . . . at a time and in a manner that minimizes any interference with the operation of the business," § 41.49(3)(a), and a hotel operator's failure to make the records available is a criminal misdemeanor, § 11.00(m). Respondents, a group of motel operators and a lodging association, brought a facial challenge to § 41.49(3)(a) on Fourth Amendment grounds. The District Court entered judgment for the City, finding that respondents lacked a reasonable expectation of privacy in their records. The Ninth Circuit subsequently reversed, determining that inspections under § 41.49(3)(a) are Fourth Amendment searches and that such searches are unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment because hotel owners are subjected to punishment for failure to turn over their records without first being [135 S.Ct. 2446] afforded the opportunity for precompliance review.

Held :

1. Facial challenges under the Fourth Amendment are not categorically barred or especially disfavored. Pp. 4-8.

(a) Facial challenges to statutes--as opposed to challenges to particular applications of statutes--have been permitted to proceed under a diverse array of constitutional provisions. See , e.g., Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., 564 U.S. __, 131 S.Ct. 2653, 180 L.Ed.2d 544 (First Amendment); District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 128 S.Ct. 2783, 171 L.Ed.2d 637 (Second Amendment). The Fourth Amendment is no exception. Sibron v. New York, 392 U.S. 40, 88 S.Ct. 1889, 20 L.Ed.2d 917, distinguished. This Court has entertained facial challenges to statutes authorizing warrantless searches, declaring them, on several occasions, facially invalid, see, e.g., Chandler v. Miller, 520 U.S. 305, 308-309, 117 S.Ct. 1295, 137 L.Ed.2d 513. Pp. 4-7.

(b) Petitioner contends that facial challenges to statutes authorizing warrantless searches must fail because they will never be unconstitutional in all applications, but this Court's precedents demonstrate that such challenges can be brought, and can succeed. Under the proper facial-challenge analysis, only applications of a statute in which the statute actually authorizes or prohibits conduct are considered. See, e.g., Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 112 S.Ct. 2791, 120 L.Ed.2d 674. When addressing a facial challenge to a statute authorizing warrantless searches, the proper focus is on searches that the law actually authorizes and not those that could proceed irrespective of whether they are authorized by the statute, e.g., where exigent circumstances, a warrant, or consent to search exists. Pp. 7-8.

2. Section 41.49(3)(a) is facially unconstitutional because it fails to provide hotel operators with an opportunity for precompliance review. Pp. 9-17.

[192 L.Ed.2d 441] (a) " '[S]earches conducted outside the judicial process . . . are per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment--subject only to a few . . . exceptions.'" Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332, 338, 129 S.Ct. 1710, 173 L.Ed.2d 485. One exception is for administrative searches. See Camara v. Municipal Court of City and County of San Francisco, 387 U.S. 523, 534, 87 S.Ct. 1727, 18 L.Ed.2d 930. To be constitutional, the subject of an administrative search must, among other things, be afforded an opportunity to obtain precompliance review before a neutral decisionmaker. See See v. Seattle, 387 U.S. 541, 545, 87 S.Ct. 1737, 18 L.Ed.2d 943. Assuming the administrative search exception otherwise applies here, § 41.49 is facially invalid because it fails to afford hotel operators any opportunity for precompliance review. To be clear, a hotel owner must only be afforded an opportunity for precompliance review; actual review need occur only when a hotel operator objects to turning over the records. This opportunity can be provided without imposing onerous burdens on law enforcement. For instance, officers in the field can issue administrative subpoenas without probable cause that a regulation is being infringed. This narrow holding does not call into question those parts of § 41.49 requiring hotel operators to keep records nor does it prevent police from obtaining access to those records where a hotel operator consents to the search, where the officer has a proper administrative warrant, or where some other exception to the warrant requirement applies. Pp. 9-13.

(b) Petitioner's argument that the ordinance is facially valid under the more relaxed standard for closely regulated industries [135 S.Ct. 2447] is rejected. See Marshall v. Barlow's, Inc., 436 U.S. 307, 313, 98 S.Ct. 1816, 56 L.Ed.2d 305. This Court has only recognized four such industries, and nothing inherent in the operation of hotels poses a comparable clear and significant risk to the public welfare. Additionally, because the majority of regulations applicable to hotels apply to many businesses, to classify hotels as closely regulated would permit what has always been a narrow exception to swallow the rule. But even if hotels were closely regulated, § 41.49 would still contravene the Fourth Amendment as it fails to satisfy the additional criteria that must be met for searches of closely regulated industries to be reasonable. See New York v. Burger, 482 U.S. 691, 702-703, 107 S.Ct. 2636, 96 L.Ed.2d 601. Pp. 13-17.

738 F.3d 1058, affirmed.

E. Joshua Rosenkranz argued the cause for petitioner.

Michael R. Dreeben argued the cause for the United States, as amicus curiae, by special leave of the court.

Thomas C. Goldstein argued the cause for respondents.

SOTOMAYOR, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which KENNEDY, GINSBURG, BREYER, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS, J., joined. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined.

OPINION

SOTOMAYOR, JUSTICE.

Respondents brought a Fourth Amendment challenge to a provision of the Los Angeles Municipal Code that compels " [e]very operator of a hotel to keep a record" containing specified information concerning guests and to make this record " available to any officer of the Los Angeles [192 L.Ed.2d 442] Police Department for inspection" on demand. Los Angeles Municipal Code § § 41.49(2) (3)(a) (4) (2015). The questions presented are whether facial challenges to statutes can be brought under the Fourth Amendment and, if so, whether this provision of the Los Angeles Municipal Code is facially invalid. We hold facial challenges can be brought under the Fourth Amendment. We further hold that the provision of the Los Angeles Municipal Code that requires hotel operators to make their registries available to the police on demand is facially unconstitutional because it penalizes them for declining to turn over their records without affording them any opportunity for precompliance review.

I

A

Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) § 41.49 requires hotel operators to record [135 S.Ct. 2448] information about their guests, including: the guest's name and address; the number of people in each guest's party; the make, model, and license plate number of any guest's vehicle parked on hotel property; the guest's date and time of arrival and scheduled departure date; the room number assigned to the guest; the rate charged and amount collected for the room; and the method of payment. § 41.49(2). Guests without reservations, those who pay for their rooms with cash, and any guests who rent a room for less than 12 hours must present photographic identification at the time of check-in, and hotel operators are required to record the number and expiration date of that document. § 41.49(4). For those guests who check in using an electronic kiosk, the hotel's records must also contain the guest's credit card information. § 41.49(2)(b). This information can be maintained in either electronic or paper form, but it must be " kept on the hotel premises in the guest reception or guest check-in area or in an office adjacent" thereto for a period of 90 days. § 41.49(3)(a).

Section 41.49(3)(a) -- the only provision at issue here--states, in pertinent part, that hotel guest records " shall be made available to any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for inspection," provided that " [w]henever possible, the inspection shall be conducted at a time and in a manner that minimizes any interference with the operation of the business." A hotel operator's failure to make his or her guest records available for police inspection is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. § 11.00(m) (general provision applicable to entire LAMC).

B

In 2003, respondents, a group of motel operators along with a lodging association, sued the city of Los Angeles (City or petitioner) in three consolidated cases challenging the constitutionality of § 41.49(3)(a). They sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The parties " agree[d] that the sole...

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