- Associated Press - Friday, June 12, 2020

DETROIT (AP) - For the second time, a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that claimed marking tires to enforce parking rules in a Michigan city violates the U.S. Constitution.

“A discrete chalk mark on a tire does not substantially interfere with a party’s individual liberty,” U.S. District Judge Thomas Ludington said Tuesday.

Saginaw’s parking enforcers chalked tires to keep track of vehicles that might exceed a two-hour limit. Alison Taylor sued after getting more than a dozen tickets. Her lawyers said the markings were an illegal search under the Fourth Amendment.

Ludington had ruled in favor of Saginaw in 2017. But a federal appeals court reversed the decision in an opinion that caught the attention of many cities in Michigan and three other states covered by the court.

The court said marking tires qualified as a search of property under the constitution and could be illegal without a warrant. The case was sent back to Ludington for more work.

After considering more evidence, the judge said marking tires was an “administrative search” that didn’t require a warrant.

Saginaw’s “use of chalk is reasonable because it is in the public interest and the severity of the interference with individual liberty is minimal,” Ludington said.

Another appeal is planned.

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