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Hudson v. Palmer

Significance, Impact, Do Prison Inmates Have Rights?


Ted S. Hudson


Russel Thomas Palmer, Jr.

Petitioner's Claim

Privacy rights and protection against unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment cannot be extended to prison inmates. Such expectations are inconsistent with effective prison administration in correctional centers.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

William G. Broaddus

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Deborah C. Wyatt

Justices for the Court

Warren E. Burger (writing for the Court), Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

3 July 1984


Prison guards act of unreasonable search, seizure and deprivation of prisoners property did not violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the respondent.

Related Cases

  • Lanza v. New York, 370 U.S. 139 (1962).
  • Wolff v. McDonell, 418 U.S. 539 (1974).
  • Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979).
  • Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527 (1981).


West's Encyclopedia of American Law. St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1998.

Further Readings

  • Call, Jack E. "The Supreme Court and Prisoners' Rights." Federal Probation, March 1995, pp. 36-46.
  • Emory University School of Law. Criminal Procedures-Cases, Statutes, & Executive Materials. "Chapter Four: Searches in Recurring Places and Contexts," 30 September 1997. http://www.law.emory.edu/CRIMPRO/notes/ch4notes.html

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988