Rights In Action: Engblom v. Carey


By: Jared Paul Miller, Society President

While some may question the need for the 3rd Amendment in our modern world, Officer Engblom and Officer Palmer are both glad their natural rights were protected by the Constitution. Officers Engblom and Palmer were both guards at the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in Warwick, New York. Engblom and Palmer both resided in the Upper and Lower Staff Buildings at Mid-Orange Correctional. They had agreements with the Prision which established a landlord-tenant like relationship, with special cavoites in light of the fact that the Upper and Lower Staff Buildings were on Prision property. When the Mid-Orange guards decided to stand in solidarity with their fellow New York State prison guards, the Governor struck at Engblom and Palmer's Constitutional rights. New York Governor Hugh L. Carey ordered the National Guard to take control of Mid-Orange Correctional. Additionally, Governor Carey kicked out the about 45 officers who lived in the Upper and Lower Staff Buildings and replaced them with the National Guardsmen. Prevented from accessing their homes, Engblom and Palmer sued.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals had two issues to settle, are National Guardsmen "soldiers" under the 3rd Amendment and did the Upper and Lower Staff Buildings at Mid-Orange Correctional qualify for 3rd Amendment Protection. The Court first concluded that, despite being controlled by the State Governor, the Guardsmen were soldiers enough for the 3rd. Next, despite not being the legal owners of the Upper and Lower Staff Buildings, the Court found that Engblom and Palmer had "throughout the strike had a lawful interest in their living quarters sufficient to entitle them to exclude others." This included the National Guardsmen. In the dissent, Judge Kaufman accepts that the 3rd Amendment would apply in situations outside of strict fee simple absolute ownership, he simply disagrees that Engblom and Palmer's interest in the property, because of the prison context, was enough to qualify for 3rd Amendment protection.

Return Home