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In re Trinity Industries, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
876 F.2d 1485 (1989)


Magistrate courts granted the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) warrants to authorize a health and safety inspection of two worksites for possible violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (Act). One site belonged to Trinity Industries (Trinity) (plaintiff) and the other belonged to Mosher (plaintiff). Both warrants were issued pursuant to OSHA plans of programmed inspections, and were not based on specific complaints. Trinity and Mosher refused to permit the inspections. The Secretary petitioned the courts to hold Trinity and Mosher in civil contempt for failure to honor the warrants. Mosher permitted the inspection and appealed. Trinity continued to refuse to permit the inspection, the court ordered Trinity to allow the inspection, and Trinity delayed the inspection for one day. Trinity was fined. It then appealed the district court order. On appeal, Trinity and Mosher took the position that the Secretary’s warrant applications were insufficient to establish probable cause.

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Holding and Reasoning (Cox, J.)

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