S-3899.1          _______________________________________________


                            SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5572



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1992 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Law & Justice (originally sponsored by Senators Nelson, Rasmussen, Matson, Thorsness and Stratton)


Read first time 02/07/92.Prohibiting administrative search warrants for private residences.

     AN ACT Relating to administrative searches; adding a new section to Title 4 RCW; and creating a new section.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.      The legislature finds that the privacy of Washington residents is protected by both the state and federal Constitutions, but local governments might violate the privacy rights of citizens with administrative searches.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to Title 4 RCW to read as follows:

     A court in this state shall not issue an administrative search warrant for a private residence, except with probable cause of a specific violation in a specific residence.  This requirement applies to all noncriminal searches.  The person or agency applying for the warrant shall give notice of an application for a warrant to the owner and occupant of a residence at least twenty days before the warrant is issued.  The owner or occupant is entitled to a hearing before issuance of the warrant, if a hearing is requested.  Without a warrant, an administrative search of a residence may only be conducted with the fully informed consent of the occupant.  The consent must be in writing, with full knowledge that consent to the search is voluntary, that no warrant can be issued, and if a complaint-based inspection program is available, that fact must be disclosed.

     "Residence" as used in this section means a dwelling unit, whether the unit is separate or part of a multi-unit dwelling, including the land on which the dwelling stands.  The term also includes a share ownership in a cooperative housing association, corporation, or partnership if the person can establish that his or her share represents the specific unit or portion of the structure in which he or she resides.