City of Indianapolis v. Edmond

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City of Indianapolis v. Edmond
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued October 3, 2000
Decided November 28, 2000
Full case nameCity of Indianapolis, et al. v. James Edmond, et al.
Citations531 U.S. 32 (more)
121 S. Ct. 447; 148 L. Ed. 2d 333; 2000 U.S. LEXIS 8084; 69 U.S.L.W. 4009; 2000 Cal. Daily Op. Service 9549; 2000 Colo. J. C.A.R. 6401; 14 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 9
Case history
PriorEdmond v. Goldsmith, 38 F. Supp. 2d 1016 (S.D. Ind. 1998), reversed, 183 F.3d 659 (7th Cir. 1999); cert. granted, 528 U.S. 1153 (2000).
Police may not conduct roadblocks "whose primary purpose is to detect evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing." Such roadblocks must have a specific primary purpose, such as keeping roadways safe from impaired drivers, or enforcing border security.
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
David Souter · Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg · Stephen Breyer
Case opinions
MajorityO'Connor, joined by Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer
DissentRehnquist, joined by Thomas; Scalia (only as to Part I)
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. IV

City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States limited the power of law enforcement to conduct suspicionless searches, specifically, using drug-sniffing dogs at roadblocks.[1] Previous Supreme Court decisions had given the police power to create roadblocks for the purposes of border security,[2] and removing drunk drivers from the road.[3] This decision stated that the power was limited to situations in which the search was "designed to serve special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement."

The Court drew a line on check point programs that followed Police v. Sitz,[3] "whose primary purpose" is "to detect evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing". The Court refused to "credit the 'general interest in crime control' as justification for a regime of suspicionless stops."

The opinion was delivered by Justice O'Connor, joined by Justices Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer.

Chief Justice Rehnquist delivered a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Thomas joined, and Justice Scalia joined as to part I.

Justice Thomas also filed a separate dissent.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000).
  2. ^ United States v. Martinez-Fuerte, 428 U.S. 543 (1976).
  3. ^ a b Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990).

External links[edit]