People in Homeless Shelters Have Privacy Rights

March 12, 2010 Updated: March 12, 2010

The Supreme Judicial Court found that people in homeless shelters have the same privacy rights as people in their own homes, the Boston Globe reported. This means that police searches require warrants.

In March 2006, a juvenile was staying with his mother in a Roxbury homeless shelter. The shelter director let in police who searched the room and found a weapon. The juvenile was charged with delinquency, but Juvenile Court threw the case out. After prosecutors appealed, the court ruled 5-2 that "the room that the juvenile and his mother shared at the shelter was a transitional living space, but it was nonetheless their home." Justice Ralph Gants wrote the ruling.