N.D.Ga.: UPS a private searcher, even with its “good-Samaritan motivation”

UPS is not a state actor when it searches suspicious packages, even with its “good-Samaritan motivation” that “overlaps with law enforcement’s mission.” United States v. Baxter, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93141 (N.D. Ga. May 11, 2023):

Of course, such a good-Samaritan motivation overlaps with law enforcement’s mission. But the Court cannot find that a company’s motivation to be or present itself as a good corporate citizen necessarily makes it a state actor. A corporation may wish to avoid being used as an instrumentality for illegal activity for any number of its own purposes, whether based on the altruism of its management, to promote good public relations, to avoid liability, or some combination of those or other reasons. The Court cannot find, on the facts here, that UPS had no independent, private purpose in taking the action that it did, even if that purpose intersected with the police’s mission.

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