No reasonable expectation of privacy in an emergency room

From the I-didn’t-know-that dept.:

Patient privacy may not extend to the patient’s clothes or belongings. Via

An officer who came to the trauma section of Grady Hospital in Atlanta could seize defendant’s clothing in plain view. Defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the ER. United States v. Howard, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41211 (N.D. Ga. April 14, 2011). From the opinion:

Here, to the extent Defendant had an actual expectation of privacy, that expectation was unreasonable in light of case law on point and in light of evidence tending to show that Detective Fries was lawfully present in the trauma room where he observed Defendant’s clothing in plain view. Courts in numerous jurisdictions have held that a defendant does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in an emergency, operation, or—directly on point—trauma room that the defendant shares with other patients and in which medical staff administers critical treatment.


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