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O'Connor v. Ortega
United States Supreme Court
480 U.S. 709 (1987)
Dr. Magno Ortega (plaintiff) was a doctor at a public hospital. Ortega’s bosses, including Dr. Dennis O’Connor (defendant), became concerned about Ortega’s conduct. Ortega was placed on administrative leave while the hospital investigated its concerns. While Ortega was on leave, hospital officials conducted a thorough search of Ortega’s office, including his desk and filing cabinets. Hospital officials seized several items for use in their impending case against Ortega before the California State Personnel Board. These items included personal effects, such as a card, a picture, and a book of poetry gifted to him. Ortega sued O’Connor, alleging that the search violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The district court upheld the search, but the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that the search was unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)
Dissent (Blackmun, J.)
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