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Warrant Not Needed for Letter Carrier to Inspect Pierced Package

Aug. 12, 2022, 2:43 PM

A United States Postal Service letter carrier didn’t perform an illegal warrantless search under the Fourth Amendment when she took a close look at a package after her thumb slipped through a hole it, the Fifth Circuit said.

The Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to letter carriers just because they’re government employees, the opinion by Judge Carl E. Stewart said Thursday. Instead, Jasia Girard’s had to have some connection to law enforcement for her inspection of the package to come within the reach of the amendment, he wrote for the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit panel.

When Girard ...