Circuit Split! New Opinion Upholds Warrantless Tire Chalking

Shea posted here about a 2019 opinion from the Sixth Circuit holding that chalking tires for purposes of parking enforcement was a Fourth Amendment search and rejecting at least some of the proposed legal justifications for the practice. That case led to some further proceedings and eventually to a new opinion, Taylor v. City of Saginaw, Michigan, 11 F.4th 483 (6th Cir. 2021), holding that the suspicionless chalking of tires (1) is a search, (2) is not justified as a community caretaking function, and (3) is not justified as an administrative search. The Taylor court ruled that the law was not previously clearly established, so the parking officer whose conduct was at issue was entitled to qualified immunity. But going forward, warrantless tire chalking is a no-no in the Sixth Circuit. Now another circuit has weighed in with a different perspective.

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Parking Enforcement: Civil Penalties, Infractions and Wheel Locks

The contents of an envelope tucked under the windshield wiper of your car parked on a city street doesn’t seem as ominous as a citation hand-delivered through your driver’s side window by a law enforcement officer illuminated by the flashing blue lights of her police vehicle. But both may land you in district criminal court. … Read more