A health officer sought to enter and inspect respondent's private home without a search warrant after a neighbor complained that the premises were not "clean and wholesome" as required by a District of Columbia ordinance. Respondent denied the officer permission to enter and refused to unlock the door, maintaining that his entry would violate her constitutional rights. As a result, respondent was convicted in municipal court of violating an ordinance making it a misdemeanor to interfere with or prevent an authorized sanitation inspection. On appeal, reversal of the conviction by the Municipal Court of Appeals was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on the ground that the constitutional guaranty against unreasonable search and seizure made the ordinance invalid as applied to respondent. On certiorari, the United States Supreme Court, held, affirmed. Since a mere refusal by the occupant of a private dwelling to unlock the door does not amount to interference with or prevention of inspection within the meaning of the District ordinance, consideration of the constitutional issues is unnecessary. Two justices dissented. District of Columbia v. Little, 339 U.S. I, 70 S.Ct. 468 (1950).
Robert P. Griffin S. Ed.,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-SEARCH AND SEIZURE -INSPECTION OF PRIVATE DWELLING BY HEALTH OFFICER WITHOUT A WARRANT,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol49/iss3/9