ATLANTA (AP) A federal judge found that the city of Atlanta had a policy of conducting unlawful, warrantless searches of commercial properties.
U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell issued the ruling Tuesday in a civil rights lawsuit filed by Devon Brown after city officers entered and searched a space he had rented in a commercial building to use as a private clubhouse for his motorcycle club.
Pannell said the city violated Brown’s Fourth Amendment right of protection against unreasonable search and seizure. He said the amount of damages owed to Brown will be determined by a jury at trial.
The lawsuit names the city, six police officers, a buildings department inspector and two senior investigators with the city solicitor’s office.
City spokeswoman Jenna Garland on Friday acknowledged an email seeking comment and said she would “circle back.”