AAHOA Applauds Supreme Court Decision to Protect Hoteliers' Constitutional Rights

ATLANTA, June 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) applauds today's ruling by the Supreme Court in the case of City of Los Angeles v. Patel that reaffirms hoteliers' constitutional right to privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

The case originated when a group of hotel owners, including at least six AAHOA members, came together to challenge Section 41.49 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code which permits police officers to search hotel guest registries on demand and without a warrant. Some officers viewed this law as a license to continually harass hoteliers and guests.

As the largest hotel owners association in the world and as representatives of several of the plaintiffs in the original suit, AAHOA filed an amicus brief with the Court to share the association's unique perspective into the importance of privacy rights for hoteliers.

The Court agreed with the hoteliers' concerns and ruled that, "the ordinance creates an intolerable risk that searches authorized by it will exceed statutory limits, or be used as a pretext to harass hotel operators and their guests."

"Today is a big win for the hospitality industry," AAHOA President & CEO Chip Rogers said. "The decision by the Supreme Court reaffirms hoteliers' constitutional rights and protects AAHO members from unreasonable and unlawful searches of their businesses and records."

"By affording hoteliers the opportunity for judicial review prior to a search, the Court has established an important safeguard for hoteliers and their guests against the kind of excessive intrusion that our members faced in Los Angeles," Rogers continued. "The Court's ruling will also allow for a reasonable balance between promoting public safety and ensuring privacy rights."

This decision sets an important national precedent and will likely affect dozens of jurisdictions with similar laws allowing warrantless searches of hotel guest registries.

Founded in 1989, AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the world, with over 14,000 small business owner-members. AAHOA members own more than 20,000 properties amounting to more than 40 percent of all hotels in the United States and employ nearly 600,000 workers, accounting for over $9.4 billion in payroll annually.


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