￼ANALYZE THE SITUATION 10.3
JESSICA BRISTOL AND HER two young children checked into room 104 of the Travel-In motel at 9:00 P.M. on Friday night. She produced a credit card issued in her name as a form of payment and requested that she be given the room for two nights.
On Saturday afternoon, a man identifying himself as Preston Bristol, Jessica Bristol’s husband, presented himself at the front desk and asked for the key that she was supposed to have left for him at the front desk. He stated that he was joining his wife and children at the motel; they were visiting relatives, but he had had to work the day before.
The desk clerk replied that no key had been left and proceeded to call the room to inform Jessica Bristol that her husband was at the front desk. There was no answer in the room.
Preston Bristol then produced his driver’s license for the desk clerk, which had the same address that Jessica Bristol had used on her registration card. Mr. Bristol also produced a credit card issued in his name with the same account number as that used by Jessica Bristol at check-in. As the clerk perused the license and credit card, Mr. Bristol offhandedly referred to a picture in his wallet of Jessica Bristol and his two children. Based on the positive identification, the clerk issued
Mr. Bristol a key to Jessica Bristol’s room.
At approximately 6:00 P.M. on Saturday, a guest in room 105 called
the front desk to complain about a loud argument in room 104, Jessica Bristol’s room. The desk clerk called room 104 but got no answer.
The clerk then called the local police. When they arrived, they found Jessica Bristol badly beaten and her children missing. A description of Mr. Bristol’s car quickly led to his arrest and the recovery of the children by the police.
Jessica Bristol recovered from her injuries and completed the divorce proceedings she had begun against her husband. In addition, she filed assault and battery charges against him. Jessica Bristol also sued the motel’s manager, owner, and franchise company for $8 million, stating that the motel was negligent and had violated her right to privacy. The motel’s position was that is acted reasonably to ensure Mr. Bristol’s identity, and added that it was not an insurer of guest safety and could not have foreseen Mr. Bristol’s actions.
1. Did the desk clerk act in a reasonable manner?
2. Did Mr. Bristol have a right to enter the room?