The Seattle Municipal Code requires intermittent inspections by the fire chief of nonresidential buildings for the purpose of discovering and correcting fire hazards. Pursuant to the Code, an inspector, without a search warrant and without cause to believe that a fire hazard existed, sought entry into defendant's locked warehouse. Upon his refusal to allow entrance, defendant was tried and convicted for failing to submit to a fire inspection. On appeal, the conviction was affirmed. Held: The fourth amendment's prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure is not violated by a conviction for refusal to permit entrance into a commercial building for purposes of a fire inspection authorized by a municipal ordinance, even though the inspector does not have a search warrant or probable cause to believe that a fire hazard exists. City of Seattle v. See, 67 Wash. Dec. 2d 465, 408 P.2d 262 (1965).
Annual Survey of Washington Law,
Constitutionality of Civil Inspection Without Warrant or Probable Cause,
Wash. L. & Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol41/iss3/11