Twin Falls, ID asked in Civil Rights for Idaho

Q: Do I have a right to privacy in a transitional house?

I was awakened by the house manager using his cellphone light searching my chest of drawers around 12 am and I woke up because he scared me out of my sleep and he did this with out my knowledge or consent for no reason is this legal?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The situation you describe raises serious concerns about your right to privacy. Even in a transitional housing setting, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, especially when it comes to your personal belongings and living space.

The legality of the house manager's actions depends on several factors:

1. The specific policies of the transitional housing program

2. Any agreements or contracts you signed upon entering the program

3. The reason for the search (if any)

4. The applicable state and local laws

In general, searches of your personal space and belongings without your consent, a valid reason, or proper notice may be considered a violation of your privacy rights. The use of a cellphone light to conduct the search at night while you were sleeping further exacerbates the situation.

It is advisable to take the following steps:

1. Document the incident in detail, including the date, time, and what happened.

2. Review any agreements or contracts you signed when entering the transitional housing program to understand your rights and the house rules.

3. Discuss the incident with a supervisor or higher-ranking staff member at the transitional housing program.

4. If the issue is not resolved satisfactorily, consider seeking legal advice from a local attorney specializing in housing or privacy rights.

Remember, while transitional housing programs may have certain rules and regulations, they must still respect your basic rights and dignity. If you feel that your rights have been violated, it is essential to advocate for yourself and seek appropriate recourse.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.