What Is a Well-Known Court Case Involving the Third Amendment?

According to the Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, a well-known court case involving the Third Amendment is Engblom v. Carey. The case involved a suit brought by striking corrections officers over National Guardsmen being allowed to live in their rooms at the correctional facility.

According to the Bill of Rights, the amendment states that no soldier during peacetime can be quartered in any house without the owner’s consent, or can only be quartered in a house during wartime if approved by law. In Engblom v. Carey, striking correction officers at Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in Warwick, N.Y. lived on facility grounds in dormitory-style housing owned by the state, according to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. When the officers walked off the job to strike, Governor Hugh Carey ordered the National Guard to provide security at the prison. Some National Guardsmen lived in the rooms of striking correction officers, who sued for damages under the Third Amendment.

The federal district court decided that prison administration retained control of the housing units and found there was no need for a trial. However, upon appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision based on landlord-tenant law. Governor Carey and other defendants relied on “qualified immunity” as a defense, which protected public officials from lawsuits while carrying out public duties. The question was whether the public officials clearly violated an established law. The district court held that the law was not clearly established, so the defendants were protected by qualified immunity. The case was dismissed, according to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.