Writs of Assistance Ressurected

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The City of Rochester, New York, created its own law to allow courts to issue judicial warrants of inspection to code enforcement officers. These administrative search warrants do not need to be supported by probable cause of an offense. A judge may issue an inspection warrant whenever a tenant refuses to allow the city to inspect his home in connection with a pending application for a certificate of occupancy. The City also passed a local law periodically expiring its certificates of occupancy so that searches are routinely necessary every three to six years. The warrants allow multiple inspections over a 45 day period, permit inspections of every place in the home and even video and audio tape. The results of the search or "inspection" are available to the public upon request. These judicial warrants of inspection are the same as the writs of assistance that prompted the American Revolution.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Michael Burger, Santiago Burger LLP | Attorney Advertising

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