Lebron v. Sec’y of the Florida Dep’t of Children and Families

Luis Lebron, a single father and college student, who applied for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (“TANF”), refused to undergo suspicionless drug testing as a part of the application.  Florida passed Fla. Stat. §  414.0652 requiring applicants to pay for and pass drug tests in order to be eligible for welfare benefits.  We challenged the law, on behalf of Luis and all TANF applicants, as a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches without probable cause to believe they used drugs.

The courts preliminarily enjoined the law after two and half months of testing, during which time approximately 2.6% of applicants tested positive for drugs (compared to estimates that over 8% of Floridians use drugs).  The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a permanent injunction of the testing program in December 2014, holding that the State had “failed to meet its burden of establishing a substantial special need to drug test all TANF applicants without any suspicion,” and that the State’s interests in drug testing were “general concerns, proffered only at a high level of abstraction and without empirical evidence.”

Legal Documents

Complaint (9/6/11)
Order Granting Preliminary Injunction (M.D. Fla.) (10/24/11)
Opinion Affirming Preliminary Injunction (11th Cir.) (2/26/13)
Order Granting Permanent Injunction (M.D. Fla.) (12/31/13)
Opinion Affirming Permanent Injunction (11th Cir.)