Cal.5th (concurring): Are routine administrative searches with guns on hip and bulletproof vests always reasonable?

Officers showed up for an OSHA inspection armed and wearing bulletproof vests and insisted upon the inspection starting without giving the company representative a chance to even think about it. The concurring judge finds this excessive in a free society, but agrees that it was valid. Nolte Sheet Metal, Inc. v. Occupational Safety & Health Appeals Bd., 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 44 (5th Dist. Jan. 21, 2020). Concurring opinion by Poochigian, J.:

Administrative safety inspections and similar entries onto private property are supposed to be “quite different from an entry by police officers with guns drawn.” (People v. Ovieda (2019) 7 Cal.5th 1034, 1052 [250 Cal. Rptr. 3d 754, 446 P.3d 262].) However, this case, and others like it, demonstrate how some administrative inspections have come close to overstepping what was once a distant boundary limiting acceptable displays of force. Unless there is some elusive rationale to the contrary, the deployment of armed officials for routine workplace inspections should not become commonplace. It would seem prudent for administrative agencies, and perhaps the Legislature, to review such practices—in the interest of public safety and our free society.

This entry was posted in Administrative search. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.