Q & A Session: Limits of 'Consent to be Searched' Signs



I work at the Pentagon. There are many signs that say something along the lines of “all those entering the building consent to be searched.” What are the limits of that? This morning, Pentagon police with surgical gloves were conducting pat down searches of random people. While I don’t mind walking through a metal detector, I do have an issue with someone laying hands on me.


The majority of the time, entry screening at the Pentagon will consist of less invasive methods: walking through a metal detector or having hand-carried items searched, for example. However, at times when force protection conditions are escalated to higher levels, random screening measures may intensify.

This response is written by Michael S. Causey, associate attorney of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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