DEA Needs Warrants To Get Drug Records, Judge Says

By Kurt Orzeck (February 12, 2014, 4:09 PM EST) -- An Oregon federal judge ruled Tuesday that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration must obtain warrants before accessing confidential prescription drug records in an Oregon database, saying the use of administrative subpoenas to obtain such information would violate the Fourth Amendment.

U.S. District Judge Ancer L. Haggerty granted summary judgment to the American Civil Liberties Union, which said in a Wednesday statement that it was the first time a court decided that law enforcement officials have to get a probable cause warrant to access confidential prescription records from a state database in a criminal investigation.

In an August motion for summary judgment,...

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