Police dog search

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by atlsrt44, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. atlsrt44

    atlsrt44 Well-Known Member

    Ok so I like watching live pd but one question I always had. When people refuse a search they walk the dog around the vehicle. But everytime the dog is searching the dog is jumping all over the car. What do you do about the paint? That dogs claws have to be scratching the paint up.

    If that's your car are you just sol?
  2. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

    I've wondered about the same thing. I suspect it scratches the clear coat. I'm sure you could complain to the offending agency, but I doubt that you'll get any restitution.

  3. Wheedle

    Wheedle Active Member

    So, I'm not going to post much in the way of specifics, because the entire thread has been removed and I believe the lawsuit is still going...

    Somenone on a car forum I'm on had a VERY expensive paint job on their car, talking 15k+ once all the bodywork and everything is factored. It wasn't garish or wild, but a really beautiful job. It looked flawless. They went to a big car gathering and got stopped. There was video of the dog search. You can see the officer leading the dog to jump on the car, all over the hood and trunk. The dog did not alert on anything, and no further search was done. In the end, about 3/4 of the car had to be sanded back to the base coats, re-surfaced, repainted, and the entire car re-cleared to the tune of about 4k. I fully believe the officer and the department should be held responsible for any damage done, down to a single scratch.
  4. Wheedle

    Wheedle Active Member

    Hell, my bone stock 2000 Audi S4 is expensive to repair if some of the S4 specific bits get damaged. I had to find the passenger side door sill cover, $150 for a useable used one and that took several months to find. The bumper cover which is a bit fragile is pure unobtanium for an OE part, used or otherwise.
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    I have performed no legal research on this issue. Therefore, my answer is probably wrong.

    Police officers are generally immune from lawsuits. There are exceptions, of course, e.g., if the officer acts maliciously, with intent to harm, or if he executes a ministerial function in a negligent manner. There is a waiver of immunity for car accidents when insurance has been purchased.

    Would the dog scratching the car be execution of a ministerial duty? I think, probably, no.

    A real analysis would require what knowing sort of law enforcement (State, county, or municipal) and in depth legal research, but generally in Georgia my prediction would be that it would be very difficult to recover on a claim like this.

    For what it is worth, the more conscientious "drug warriors" are putting little booties on their dogs to prevent damage to the vehicle. The rest of them just don't care - it's like flipping you the bird, you peasant.

    I did read a case in Ohio where a court awarded the man his full damage estimate from a paint shop, but Georgia is a more difficult analysis than other states due to broader immunity.
  6. Craftsman

    Craftsman Well-Known Member

    The process IS the punishment.
  7. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    I also did no real research, just 5 minutes of Googling some key words and phrases.

    I think there's going to be qualified immunity for the cops , the dog handler. Because (I assume) no statutory law or controlling caselaw (with pretty much the exact same facts and circumstances) clearly says cops can't let dogs jump on and scratch your car during an open-air sniff (not a "search" and so the 4th Amd is not applicable). Likewise, no law or court case says the cops are liable for money damages if they DO this with their cannabis & coke canines.

    Plenty of cases say it's reasonable and just fine for cops to let dogs sniff the exterior surfaces of your vehicle.

    Unless and until some authority says cops must take reasonable precautions to prevent scratching your paint during a dog's nonconsensual nonsearch that is nonviolative of your nonapplicable rights.... cops can do what they want, without any liability.
  8. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    Related issue:

    Why do the courts let cops scratch /grind/ carve a case number onto guns that already have a manufactures name, a specific model number, and a perfectly readable serial number already permanently stamped into them ?

    The value of the gun drops to almost 0 after this is done to it. Valuable property is destroyed in this manner, and yet nobody seems to care. Because, well, cops.

    Cops can do this --they have to have a free hand to do whatever they think is best to keep from losing evidence or mixing up the wrong guns with the wrong box of evidence to go into a certain court room on a certain day.
  9. AzB

    AzB Well-Known Member

    I know a woman whose car was searched by a canine, interior and exterior. The dog signalled on the exterior and was allowed interior access. She was on the way to a church social function and had a bunch of food in the car. The dog scratched paint, tore the leather seats, and stomped/nosed all over and in the food. The interior was a mess.

    The police found nothing and offered not even an apology. She was not reimbursed for the food, the repairs, or the cleaning even after filing a complaint.

    FWIW,YMMV, Etc.
  10. phantoms

    phantoms Senior Mumbler

    How about if while the dog's scratching your car, you walk over and start scratching the police car. How do you think that would work out?

    I don't know how until there is actual RS or PC how they even have the authority to physically touch your vehicle. But that is ignored.