CA5: Texas medical board’s forthwith subpoena was shown not to be pretextual for criminal investigative purpose

Plaintiff is a doctor running a clinic dispensing opiods, and the Texas medical board got a forthwith administrative subpoena out for him and seized records. The defendants get qualified immunity. It’s not clear that doctors are a closely regulated industry and nothing really says that they are in this context. The unlawfulness of the defendant’s actions was not clearly established at the time of the search. Moreover, the court finds that there is enough doubt that the board’s subpoena was pretextual for purely criminal investigative purpose. “The Board’s purpose is demonstrated by the subsequent administrative action against Dr. Zadeh. The search was not performed ‘solely to uncover evidence of criminality.’ See Burger, 482 U.S. at 698. Thus, the search was not pretextual.” Zadeh v. Robinson, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24914 (5th Cir. Aug. 31, 2018).

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