State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15 > GS_15-27_2


Administrative Search andInspection Warrants.

§ 15‑27.2.  Warrants toconduct inspections authorized by law.

(a)        Notwithstanding theprovisions of Article 11 of Chapter 15A, any official or employee of the Stateor of a unit of county or local government of North Carolina may, under theconditions specified in this section, obtain a warrant authorizing him toconduct a search or inspection of property if such a search or inspection isone that is elsewhere authorized by law, either with or without the consent ofthe person whose privacy would be thereby invaded, and is one for which such awarrant is constitutionally required.

(b)        The warrant may beissued by any magistrate of the general court of justice, judge, clerk, orassistant or deputy clerk of any court of record whose territorial jurisdictionencompasses the property to be inspected.

(c)        The issuing officershall issue the warrant when he is satisfied the following conditions are met:

(1)        The one seeking thewarrant must establish under oath or affirmation that the property to besearched or inspected is to be searched or inspected as part of a legallyauthorized program of inspection which naturally includes that property, orthat there is probable cause for believing that there is a condition, object,activity or circumstance which legally justifies such a search or inspection ofthat property;

(2)        An affidavitindicating the basis for the establishment of one of the grounds described in(1) above must be signed under oath or affirmation by the affiant;

(3)        The issuing officialmust examine the affiant under oath or affirmation to verify the accuracy ofthe matters indicated by the statement in the affidavit;

(d)        The warrant shallbe validly issued only if it meets the following requirements:

(1)        Except as providedin subsection (e), it must be signed by the issuing official and must bear thedate and hour of its issuance above his signature with a notation that thewarrant is valid for only 24 hours following its issuance;

(2)        It must describe,either directly or by reference to the affidavit, the property where the searchor inspection is to occur and be accurate enough in description so that theexecutor of the warrant and the owner or the possessor of the property canreasonably determine from it what person or property the warrant authorizes aninspection of;

(3)        It must indicate theconditions, objects, activities or circumstances which the inspection isintended to check or reveal;

(4)        It must be attachedto the affidavit required to be made in order to obtain the warrant.

(e)        Any warrant issuedunder this section for a search or inspection shall be valid for only 24 hoursafter its issuance, must be personally served upon the owner or possessor ofthe property between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. and must be returnedwithin 48 hours. If the warrant, however, was procured pursuant to aninvestigation authorized by G.S. 58‑79‑1, the warrant may beexecuted at any hour, is valid for 48 hours after its issuance, and must bereturned without unnecessary delay after its execution or after the expirationof the 48 hour period if it is not executed. If the owner or possessor of theproperty is not present on the property at the time of the search or inspectionand reasonable efforts to locate the owner or possessor have been made and havefailed, the warrant or a copy thereof may be affixed to the property and shallhave the same effect as if served personally upon the owner or possessor.

(f)         No factsdiscovered or evidence obtained in a search or inspection conducted underauthority of a warrant issued under this section shall be competent as evidencein any civil, criminal or administrative action, nor considered in imposing anycivil, criminal, or administrative sanction against any person, nor as a basisfor further seeking to obtain any warrant, if the warrant is invalid or if whatis discovered or obtained is not a condition, object, activity or circumstancewhich it was the legal purpose of the search or inspection to discover; butthis shall not prevent any such facts or evidence to be so used when thewarrant issued is not constitutionally required in those circumstances.

(g)        The warrantsauthorized under this section shall not be regarded as search warrants for thepurposes of application of Article 11 of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes ofNorth Carolina. (1967, c. 1260; 1979, c. 729; 1983, c. 294, ss. 1, 2;c. 739, ss. 1, 2.)