Appeals Court: Commonwealth vs. Michael W. O’Donnell – Administrative Warrant

KeywordsSearch and Seizure, Expectation of privacy, Administrative inspection, Warrant. Constitutional Law, Search and seizure, Privacy. Practice, Criminal, Warrant, Sanitary code violation. Electricity. State Sanitary Code. Municipal Corporations, Building inspector

The Appeals Court decision today in Commonwealth v. Michael W. O’Donnell dealt with the limits of an “administrative inspection” and the circumstances in which a search warrant or administrative inspection warrant is required.

Scope of the search pursuant to administrative inspection warrant.  “The defendant asserts the town exceeded the scope of a permissible administrative inspection under the warrant when the building commissioner, board of health agent, and electrical inspector entered the property and conducted a criminal investigation.  We agree, as to the impermissible scope of the investigation. . . .  An administrative inspector may enter a property without the consent of the occupant only after first securing either a search warrant or an administrative inspection warrant.  . . .   These two types of warrant differ greatly.”  For the full text of the decision, click on: Commonwealth v. Michael W. O’Donnell

Leave a Comment