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See v. City of Seattle

Significance, Protection From Administrative Searches, Impact, Related Cases




City of Seattle

Appellant's Claim

That the city of Seattle Fire Department must have a search warrant consistent with the safeguards against unreasonable search offered by the Fourth Amendment to perform a fire code inspection of a locked private warehouse.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Norman Dorsen

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

A. L. Newbould

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, Earl Warren, Byron R. White (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

Tom C. Clark, John Marshall Harlan II, Potter Stewart


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

5 June 1967


Upheld See's claim and overturned two lower courts' decisions allowing entry by the fire department over the owner's objections without a warrant.

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1997.
  • "FAA Plans Tough Action Against Illegal Parts." Aviation Week & Space Technology, October 23, 1995.
  • New York Times, April 17, 1994.
  • "The Heat Seekers--Use of Thermal Imagery in Law Enforcement." The Nation, October 16, 1995.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972