LIBERTY COINS, LLC; JOHN MICHAEL TOMASO; WORTHINGTON JEWELERS, LTD.; ROBERT CAPACE v. DAVID GOODMAN, et al., JACQUELINE T. WILLIAMS, in her official capacity as Director, Ohio Department of Commerce; AMANDA MCCARTNEY, in her official capacity as Consumer - Articles

All Content


Posted by: Landry Butler on Jan 22, 2018

Court: 6th Circuit Court (Published Opinions)

Attorneys 1:

ARGUED: Jennifer S. M. Croskey, OFFICE OF THE OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellants. Maurice A. Thompson, 1851 CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellees.

Attorneys 2:

ON BRIEF: Jennifer S. M. Croskey, Keith O’Korn, OFFICE OF THE OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellants. Maurice A. Thompson, 1851 CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, Columbus, Ohio, Curt C. Hartman, THE LAW FIRM OF CURT C. HARTMAN, Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellees.

Judge(s): SILER, McKEAGUE, WHITE, Circuit Judges

Court Appealed: Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio at Columbus.

McKEAGUE, Circuit Judge. Plaintiffs Liberty Coins, LLC, and Worthington Jewelers, Ltd., bring facial and as-applied Fourth Amendment challenges to four warrantless search provisions in Ohio’s Precious Metals Dealers Act and the accompanying regulations: O.R.C. §§ 4728.05(A), 4728.06, 4728.07, and Ohio Admin. Code § 1301:8-6-03(D). These laws equip state agents and local law enforcement with the authority to inspect certain records, articles, and information kept by precious metals dealers without first obtaining a warrant. The district court held that these warrantless search provisions were unreasonable and unconstitutional on their face, and therefore did not address plaintiffs’ as-applied claims.

For the reasons set forth below, we affirm in part and reverse in part. We agree with the district court that the warrantless searches authorized by O.R.C. § 4728.05(A) and Ohio Admin. Code § 1301:8-6-03(D) are facially unconstitutional. These search provisions are not necessary to furthering the state’s interest in recovering stolen jewelry and coins nor do they serve as adequate warrant substitutes because they are overly broad in scope. However, we reverse the district court’s ruling as to §§ 4728.06 and 4728.07 because we conclude that the warrantless searches provided for in these subsections are facially constitutional. Further, we dismiss plaintiffs’ as-applied challenges to §§ 4728.06 and 4728.07 as not ripe.