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Entertainment & Sports Law

11th Circuit OKs Search of Football Fans

Posted Jun 26, 2007 2:24 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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"Voluntary" pat-down searches of fans entering football stadiums do not violate the 4th Amendment prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizes, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided today.

Ruling in a case brought by a Tampa Bay Buccaneers season-ticket holder Gordon Johnston, a civics teacher, the appeals court said fans, by deciding to attend the game, voluntarily consent to the searches, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

A federal judge in July upheld an earlier state-court ruling that the pat-down searches were prohibited under the 4th Amendment. It is National Football League policy to conduct such searches at stadiums nationwide, but they were halted at Buccaneers games after Johnston sued, the paper says.

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