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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

H.R. 1039 – Probation Officers Arrest Authority: YES

May 19, 2017
Vote Notes on Legislation

Vote Note 

H.R. 1039 – Probation Officers Arrest Authority: YES.  This bill gives federal probation officers the authority to arrest someone who is impeding their official duty to supervise parolees.  The bill raises a 4th Amendment concern since it gives a parole officer power to conduct a warrantless search of a third party in pursuit of the supervision of the parolee.  An example would be a probation officer making an unannounced visit to a home of a parolee who lives with his mother.  Should parole officers have the power, while searching for the parolee, to enter the mother’s bedroom or arrest her if she interferes?  I believe they should.  The parolee has explicitly waived his 4th amendment rights as a condition of his parole, and the third party has implicitly waived them for issues surrounding consent to associate with the parolee.  The parole officer should be able constitutionally to search for the parolee or for contraband owned by the parolee in the mother’s bedroom, but for no other purpose.  This bill limits authority to bounds that I am confident are within the 4th Amendments proscription of unreasonable searches and seizures.