• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that prison inmates lack the rights to privacy and protection against searches under the Fourth Amendment.

Palmer, a Virginia inmate, claimed prison officer Hudson conducted an improper search of his locker and cell, during which he destroyed some of Palmer’s personal property and generally harassed him unnecessarily. The officer discovered a ripped pillow case and charged him with destroying state property. By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court determined that incarcerated convicts do not have a right to privacy or Fourth Amendment protection against “unreasonable searches and seizure.” In the opinion for the Court, Chief Justice Warren E. BurgerBurger, Warren E.;Hudson v. Palmer[Hudson v. Palmer] used Katz v. United States[case]Katz v. United States[Katz v. United States] (1967) to dismiss Palmer’s claim to a privacy right and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and used Parratt v. Taylor[case]Parratt v. Taylor[Parratt v. Taylor] (1981) to reaffirm that an inmate had no due process claim against negligent loss of property if the state provided a reasonable remedy for the loss. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor concurred on different grounds. Justice John Paul Stevens, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Harry A. Blackmun concurred in part and dissented in part.Privacy, right to;Hudson v. Palmer[Hudson v. Palmer]Search and seizure;Hudson v. Palmer[Hudson v. Palmer]

Fourteenth Amendment

Fourth Amendment

Katz v. United States

Privacy, right to

Search warrant requirement

Categories: History