CASE LAW UPDATE: Suspicionless search of hotel registry is barred by Minnesota Constitution, Article 1, §10
Defendant was staying at hotel. Law enforcement examine the hotel guest registry. This led officers to defendant’s room, finding evidence of check forgery. Defendant was convicted of check forgery. Defendant appealed. The Minnesota Supreme Court held that (1) an examination of a hotel guest registry conducted by law enforcement officers is a search with the meaning of Minn. Const. Art. 1, §10, because an individual’s presence at a hotel is sensitive information in which there is an expectation of privacy that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable; (2) under Minn. Const. Art. 1, § 10, law enforcement officers must have at least a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity to search a hotel guest registry; and (3) the trial court erred when it denied defendant’s suppression motion because the evidence found in defendant’s room was the fruit of the officers’ suspicionless search of the hotel guest registry. Reversed and remanded.
State v. Leonard, A17-2061, Minnesota Supreme Court.
Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.