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When is the 4th Amendment Applied? – Government v. Private Action

The Fourth Amendment protects the rights of United States citizens from unlawful searches and seizures. There are ten holdings applicable for invoking the Fourth Amendment. The sixth holding recognizes government action versus private action.

The Fourth Amendment can be invoked only when government action results in an unreasonable search prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. In United States v. Jacobsen (1984) the court ruled a FedEx employee is a non-government agent and is able to look through packages if suspected of illegal activity. Additionally, in United States v. Mulenbrunch (2011) the court ruled a search conducted by a private citizen is not subjected to Fourth Amendment protection unless private citizens are acting as a government agent. Thus, it can be concluded that the Fourth Amendment can only be invoked if the alleged illegal search or seizure was conducted by a government agent acting within their job description.

St. Louis, Missouri, Search & Seizure Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been product of an unlawful search and seizure or have questions regarding what stands for a reasonable search and seizure, our attorneys can help. Call Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. to schedule a free consultation 24/7.