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Sheehan v. San Francisco 49ers, Ltd.

California Supreme Court
201 P.3d 472 (2009)


Facts

Daniel and Kathleen Sheehan (plaintiffs) are San Francisco 49ers, Ltd. (49ers) (defendant) season-ticket holders. The 49ers implemented a policy requiring that all patrons at their football games submit to a pat-down search prior to coming into the stadium. The pat-down searches were conducted by event-staff screeners. The pat-down policy was implemented to comply with a new policy of the National Football League. The Sheehans sued the 49ers, alleging a violation of their right to privacy under the California Constitution. The 49ers filed a demurrer, seeking to dismiss the Sheehans’ privacy claim for failure to state a cause of action. The trial court sustained the demurrer and dismissed the claim without leave to amend. The Sheehans appealed. The California Court of Appeal held that, as a matter of law, the Sheehans had consented to the searches because they had the option of not entering the stadium. Thus, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling. The Sheehans petitioned the California Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Chin, J.)

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Concurrence (Werdegar, J.)

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