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Jack R.
Jack R., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 6147
Experience:  OHIO//Texas Attorney Civil/Crimnal Practice
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My daughter was boarding a flight from Atlanta back to Bermuda

Customer Question

My daughter was boarding a flight from Atlanta back to Bermuda where she lives, after handing the gate agent her passport and boarding pass, and giving the items back to board she was pulled into a room by boarding protection officers. There they did an initial pat down, then a strip search. What legal right did they have and what legal rights does she have? Was these searches legal? She lives in Bermuda and was returning home, we do not have to clear us customs and immigration when leaving the US to return home since we clear customs and immigration in Bermuda when we arrive there. No visa are required from us the only form we fill out is the one we get on the plane from the flight stewardess if we have to declare anything when we land.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Jack R. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is Jack and I can assist today.


Congress created the TSA to implement airport screenings. After a number of terrorist threats all airports over the years U.S. Airports are required to implement security procedures. These include the x-ray device and body searches including strip searched if necessary. The TSA has criteria for whom gets searched and also does random searches. They effectively have the ability to act as they deem appropriate.


In 1973 the 9th Circuit Court ruled in U.S. vs Davis, 482 F.2d 893, 908, that the TSA has the power to search essentially any way they choose. In this ruling the Court found "noting that airport screenings are considered to be administrative searches because they are conducted as part of a general regulatory scheme, where the essential administrative purpose is to prevent the carrying of weapons or explosives aboard aircraft."


Per the court's ruling The 4th Amendment protections against searches do not apply to TSA searches. The search of your daughter was not an illegal search.


The question is not whether entering or exiting the U.S. all passengers boarding flights originating in U.S. are subject to searches. Your daughter could have refused the search, but she would not have been able to board the aircraft.


I know this was not the result you wanted to hear but it the law and could save you the aggravation of hearing a judge quote you the same case law. I would ask that in rating please rate my work and not the fact the law is not in your favor.


Please accept this answer with a rating of 3 or higher so I can credit for my work. If you have further questions please ask. Even though a deposit was made you must rate me at 3 or better so I can get compensated.