In May, 2007, four ACLU clients who live at the Suites, a Longmont public housing complex, endured unconstitutional warrantless searches of their homes.  The illegal searches were carried out by Longmont police officers and drug-detecting K-9s, who entered at the invitation of the Longmont Housing Authority. 

Officials initially claimed falsely that the tenants consented to the searches. Tenants at the Suites consent to periodic maintenance inspections by the landlord (the Longmont Housing Authority), but that routine consent does not include consent to entry by police officers or K-9s to search for evidence of criminal activity.

The searches were conducted without a warrant and in the absence of any arguable exception to the warrant requirement. None of the ACLU’s clients consented to the search, nor were they provided an opportunity to refuse entry to the police officers and their K-9s. 

On behalf of four residents, the ACLU negotiated a $210,000 settlement with the Longmont Police Department that included extensive additional non-monetary provisions. That settlement did not resolve claims against the Longmont Housing Authority. A separate settlement with Longmont Housing Authority was announced in 2019. Both settlements were achieved without a lawsuit having been filed.  

ACLU news releases:



Mark Silverstein, Rebecca Wallace, Arash Jahanian, ACLU of Colorado

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

John Culver, Benezra & Culver