Administrative Search Warrants

Training Overview

    • Audience: Massachusetts local and regional board of health members and staff, health department personnel and anyone interested in learning about administrative search warrants in the state.
    • Format: Online, self-paced
    • Price: Free
    • Length: 1 hour
    • Contact hours: Massachusetts CHO, RS
    • Competencies: Legal Issues
    • Learning level: Awareness
    • Prerequisites: None
    • Companion trainings:Public Health Law and Legal Issues in Massachusetts
    • Supplemental materials:

Local boards of health (LBOH) are responsible for protecting the public’s health by providing ten essential public health services. Two of these essential services are to ‘create, champion, and implement policies, plans, and laws that impact health’ and ‘utilize legal and regulatory actions designed to improve and protect the public’s health’. In order to provide such services, LBOH must monitor compliance with public and environmental health regulations and laws. The primary way for LBOH to monitor compliance is to conduct inspections, however, there may be times when people feel their privacy is being violated and they refuse to allow an inspection to take place. Refusal of an inspection may require LBOH to seek an administrative search warrant. This training will review how and when the LBOH should obtain an administrative search warrant.


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What you’ll learn

After completing this training, you will be able to:

  • Contrast the rights of individuals when being subjected to search or seizure with the authority of LBOH to conduct inspections
  • Describe the preferred method for LBOH to gain access for inspections
  • Determine options if permission is not granted for inspections during emergency and non-emergency situations
  • Summarize the eight steps to get and serve an administrative search warrant

Subject Matter Expert

  • Cheryl Sbarra
    Senior Staff Attorney
    Massachusetts Association of Health Boards


This training was supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) with funds made available by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number 2B010T009024-15, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.
This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB6HP27877 “Regional Public Health Training Center Program.” This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.