Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Do You Have A Right to Privacy in the Restroom?

According to a decision issued by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday a person does not have an absolute right to privacy in the restoom. The case involved a claim by a man found partly disrobed with a woman, cocaine and marijuana in the restroom of an Iowa convenience store. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected the individuals claim that police who found him in the restroom with the woman and drugs breached his Fourth Amendment right to privacy, thus making it an illegal seizure of drugs.

The 8th Circuit panel found that, "it was not a single person using the single toilet restroom but two persons of opposite gender and, under the circumstances, we hold that they had a diminished expectation of privacy which had expired by the time the officers arrived."

An article appearing on Yahoo News reported the factual background and circumstances behind the decision.

A full copy of the decision can be found on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals website by searching the opinions section for United States of America vs. Lonnie Maurice Hill, 04-2020 (January 11, 2005).

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