Advertisement

 MIAMI (AP) - After a three-year legal battle, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might finally be able to resume pat-down searches of fans at home games.
An attorney for the Tampa Sports Authority on Monday filed a motion to dissolve an injunction issued in 2005 preventing the searches, which were instituted that year at every NFL stadium.
Barbara Casey, spokeswoman for the sports authority, said it hoped to resume gate pat-downs for the Buccaneers' Oct. 12 game against the Carolina Panthers. Tampa plays one additional home game before then, this Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
The searches at Raymond James Stadium were suspended pending a lawsuit from a high school civics teacher and season ticket holder. Gordon Johnston argued the pat-downs violated constitutional protection against unreasonable searches. A state circuit judge and U.S. District judge agreed with him.
But the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled in June the district judge erred in allowing the injunction to remain, and Johnston's lawsuit was without merit because he consented to the searches. Further, the court's opinion said, Johnston knew he would be searched, and the process ``supported a 'vital interest' ... to guard against mass casualties at NFL games from a potential terrorist attack.''
Johnson allowed himself to be pat-down at three games in 2005, but told security officials he objected to the practice.
``He had the option of turning away and just not seeing the game,'' said Rick Zabak, an attorney representing the Tampa Sports Authority.
The appeals court agreed, though its ruling is not binding. The injunction preventing pat-downs must be wiped away by the U.S. District Court judge, which Zabak hoped would happen ``relatively soon.''
Attorneys for Johnston did not immediately return messages seeking comment. However, they have filed paperwork indicating a possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Recent NFL Discussions

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Redskins 2016 Win Total Pick   After being the surprise winner of the NFC East in 2015, can the Washington Redskins find a way to have another big season in...
Thumbnail Bills Season Win Total Prediction Rex Ryan blew into Orchard Park last January with his patented bravado dialed up to 11, but all the swagger in the world couldn’t mask another disappointing...
Thumbnail Chicago Bears Win Total Picks The Chicago Bears find themselves in a competitive NFC North Division. Can they navigate the waters in 2016 to have a winning...
Thumbnail Rams Season Win Total Prediction Amid all the hullaballoo surrounding their move (back) to Los Angeles, the Rams actually lost some fairly significant pieces on the personnel side. Will a new man...
Thumbnail Dolphins Season Win Total Prediction With a new head coach and several fresh faces, will the Miami Dolphins win over or under 7 games in 2016?
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages