A Judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit unanimously agreed. Chalking tires is a kind of trespass, Judge Bernice Donald wrote for the panel, and it requires a warrant. The decision affects the 6th Circuit, which includes Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The Fourth Amendment protects people from “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
The court found that chalking is a “search” for purposes of the Fourth Amendment, because government officials physically trespass upon a constitutionally protected area to obtain information. Just as the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that sticking a GPS tracker to a car counted as a “search,” so is marking a tire with chalk to figure out how long it has been parked, the court wrote.