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Professor Daniel Yeager Comments on “Manifestly Absurd” Searches in Daily Journal Article

Vehicle Pulled Over by Police

In a Daily Journal piece highlighting upcoming Supreme Court cases with privacy rights implications, California Western School of Law Professor Daniel B. Yeager provides critical insight and historical perspective on unlawful searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment.

Referring to Byrd v. United States—a case in which the driver of a rental car who was pulled over for a minor traffic violation had his vehicle searched, upon police learning that the driver's name was not included on the rental contract—Yeager reminds that the high court has previously recognized that property is often shared in ways that are both crucial and informal (Minnesota v. Olson, 1990). That Byrd is to be argued (date TBD) before the Supreme Court after a split in the 3rd Circuit is “hard to comprehend,” says Yeager.

He elaborates: "If I loaned my married daughter—whose name is now changed—my car, and she makes an illegal left hand turn, should police [search] her car because her name is not on the registration?" Based on Olson and similar cases, says Yeager, "Such a search would be manifestly absurd."

Professor Yeager's comments can be seen here, while the full article (subscription required) is on the Daily Journal website at


Daniel B. Yeager is the Justice Earl Warren Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at California Western.