Oregon Court of Appeals: Suspects Have Right to Privacy in Bathroom

Cops can't barge in looking for evidence of illegal activity


The Oregon Court of Appeals expanded the definition of restroom relief with an opinion Wednesday that found police can't barge in on a suspect in a locked bathroom even if he's just waiting them out.

In a decision overturning the 2011 drug conviction of a Portland man, the judges said police conducted a warrantless search that violated the suspect's privacy rights when they used a key to open the locked door of a public restroom where he fled after seeing an officer head his way.

The evidence seized as a result of the illegal search—a glass pipe with cocaine residue—shouldn't have been admitted in court, the judges found.