CA9: Massage parlor “closely regulated business” under CA law

A massage parlor is a closely regulated business under New York v. Burger, and it has been for 40 years. The operators thus had no reasonable expectation of privacy against inspections. Killgore v. City of S. El Monte, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 20244 (9th Cir. July 8, 2021). Syllabus by the court:

A massage business owner failed to state a § 1983 claim against a city alleging that the city’s warrantless searches violated his Fourth Amendment rights because the numerous and specific regulations in California’s Massage Therapy Act, a city ordinance, and the city’s conditional use permit should have provided sufficient notice to the owner that his business, in an industry closely regulated for over 40 years, would from time to time be inspected by government officials such that the owner had no reasonable expectation of privacy, and all three Burger requirements were met, including that curtailing prostitution and human trafficking was a substantial government interest, the warrant exception was necessary to further the regulatory scheme considering the potential ease of concealing violations, and the city did not have unfettered discretion to search.

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