Apparently It’s Unconstitutional for Police to “Chalk” Someone’s Tires
I’ve always wondered how police who write parking tickets actually keep track of how long someone is parked in a certain spot. I always just figured they had to use their memory…they see a red Jeep at 12:00 and they roll around at 3:00 and it’s still there…they give a ticket.
Well apparently lots of places use chalk to mark cars’ tires to see if they’ve moved. Pretty ingenious if it wasn’t VIOLATING OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, MAN!!!
That’s according to a judge in Michigan who found the use of chalk on tires violates our fourth amendment (unreasonable search/seizure) rights because:
“The city commences its search on vehicles that are parked legally, without probable cause or even so much as individualized suspicion of wrongdoing, the touchstone of the reasonableness standard.”
How I understand it is that you can’t just go around randomly touching people’s cars for no reason. You have to have probable cause to “search” someone’s property. Chalking your tires is more akin to trespassing than law enforcement, according to the courts.
Here’s some more interesting reading:
Fascinating CA6 opinion today holding that chalking a tire for parking enforcement — to see if the car had been there a while in violation of parking rules — violates the 4th Amendment. Not sure where I come out on it, but fun issue. Here’s a thread. https://t.co/2MtCtAb9e6 #N pic.twitter.com/GOGjL0RUGk
— Orin Kerr (@OrinKerr) April 22, 2019
The really funny part of this is that the women who sued to get this into the courts had been given 15 parking tickets prior to the lawsuit!
Don’t worry though, I’m sure cities will find a new, high-tech way to nab you for illegal parking.
Want to get a bit more in-depth. Read this.