February 18, 2015

Jenner & Block filed an amicus brief on behalf of the United States Chamber of Commerce urging the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm an en banc decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that a Los Angeles Municipal Code provision authorizing warrantless, on-site inspections of hotel guest records by any police officer is facially invalid under the Fourth Amendment.  The brief argues that (1) business records have always been considered property protected by the Fourth Amendment; (2) compelled inspection of these records always constitutes a search that must either be justified by a warrant or fall into one of the limited exceptions to the warrant requirement; and (3) businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry, have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their customer records.  Further, the brief argues, the city’s position that the inspection of hotel guest records is a permitted search under the “pervasively regulated” exception to the warrant requirement is “untenable.”  Oral arguments in City of Los Angeles v. Naranjibhai Patel, et al. will be heard by the Court in March.

Partners Jessica Ring Amunson, Lindsay C. Harrison and Jessie K. Liu and Associate Amir H. Ali authored the brief.