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US Supreme Court Affirms Fourth Amendment in Rental Car Search, Steers Clear of Commercial Contract Limitation (Byrd v United States)

Marc Rotenberg, Natasha Babazadeh


Terrence Byrd v United States, Decision of the United States Supreme Court of 14 May 2018
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the ‘right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.’ A search occurs when the government violates a subjective expectation of privacy that society recognizes as reasonable. The US Supreme Court found in Byrd v United States, 138 SCt 1518 (2018) that a driver in lawful possession of a rental vehicle has a reasonable expectation of privacy regardless of whether the person is named in the rental agreement.

Marc Rotenberg, President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center, Coauthor (with Anita L Allen), Privacy Law and Society (West 2016). For correspondence: <>. Natasha Babazadeh, Appellate Advocate Counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). For correspondence: <>.


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