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Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches 500

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the arrest-everyone-until-someone-consents dept.
cold fjord writes with news that the Supreme Court has expanded the ability of police officers to search a home without needing a warrant, quoting the LA Times: "Police officers may enter and search a home without a warrant as long as one occupant consents, even if another resident has previously objected, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday ... The 6-3 ruling ... gives authorities more leeway to search homes without obtaining a warrant, even when there is no emergency. The majority ... said police need not take the time to get a magistrate's approval before entering a home in such cases. But dissenters ... warned that the decision would erode protections against warrantless home searches." In this case, one person objected to the search and was arrested followed by the police returning and receiving the consent of the remaining occupant.
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Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches

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  • Re:Sure (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:44PM (#46348519)

    Especially if you dont have anything to hide. Imagine, if they find "something"...

  • Re:Complete Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nukenbar (215420) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:45PM (#46348559)

    Nobody else can give someone permission to search my domicile. Period.

    Not if you are married. It is no longer just YOUR home and YOUR stuff. Now it is, as we would say in the South, Y'ALL home and Y'ALL stuff. Your wife would have just as much of a right to consent to the search.

    No the new law seems to apply to a GF or any resident in the home, which I'm thinking goes too far.

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:51PM (#46348659) Journal
    Walter Fernandez, the person who said refused to allow the search, was arrested in connection with the street robbery that the police were investigating. The sounds of an argument led the police to the apartment. Roxanne Rojas, Fernandez's girlfriend answered the door and Fernandez told the police they couldn't search the place. About an hour after Fernandez was arrested, the police returned to the apartment and asked the other person who lived there, Fernandez's girlfriend, if they could search the apartment and she said yes.She could have hidden or moved anything incriminating between the time Fernandez was arrested and the time the police returned. She could have said no and that would have been the end of it because she wasn't a suspect in any crime.

    Really, the take away of this is "Don't piss off your girlfriend if you just robbed someone and don't want her to let the police search the apartment."
  • Re:Sure (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@caRASPrpanet.net minus berry> on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:13PM (#46349051) Homepage

    So the woman, who appeared as though she had been recently beaten, opened the door and allowed the cops in, she was not in her right mind? The "right mind" action for her was to tell the cops to get lost, thus allowing the gang material and guns of her gangster boyfriend to remain in the house?

    Except that isn't really accurate now is it:

    Fernandez was arrested in connection with the street robbery and taken away. An hour later, police returned and searched his apartment, this time with Rojas' consent. They found a shotgun and gang-related material.

    So they removed him from the situation....so....there was no longer any emergency. They had left for an hour, while arresting him. There was no emergency situation at the time of the search, it was done after the fact. There was really no excuse for not getting a warrant for the search.

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:24PM (#46349249) Journal
    That is a false statement. The person who was arrested was arrested in connection with a street robbery, not for denying to the search. The person who allowed the search was not a suspect in any crime. The person who allowed the search was, however, the live-in girlfriend of the person arrested and was arguing with the person at the time the police arrived. She was pissed enough that when the police came back, she allowed the search even though she knew he didn't want it and she was able to allow the search because she lived at the residence.
  • by TheRecklessWanderer (929556) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:31PM (#46349343) Journal
    It seems to me it might even be worse than that. Hi Can we search your home? No? You're arrested. Lets ask the next person.
  • by lgw (121541) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:14PM (#46349875) Journal

    The person who was arrested was arrested in connection with a street robbery, not for denying to the search.

    Everyone's guilty of something, and if the police can't pick something on the spot, you probably look like someone who was guilty of something. If the cops really want to arrest you, they'll find an excuse.

    Police are trained to use lies and intimidation to get their way.

  • by 3seas (184403) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:59PM (#46350391) Journal

    And that applies to the Supreme court as well.

    See Declaration of Independence for instructions the Founders wrote for the people in their recognition of the people rights and Duty.
    Law enforcement officers that violate the law lose their legal position, fire themselves in doing so..
    An intruder can be shot and killed and teh resident can claim they had good reason to believe the people were impersonating an officer(s) of the law.

    In other news British Intelligence Advisor; Obama Born In Kenya In 1960; CIA DNA Test
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

  • by uncqual (836337) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @05:43PM (#46350887)

    No.

    A landlord can't give consent for the police to search a space that you have rented for your exclusive use. They can enter without your consent in case of an emergency (fire, gas leak, water leak, etc), but a simple request by the police to search is not an emergency. Some [nolo.com] easy [policemag.com] to [searchandseizure.org] read [blogspot.com] sources [lawcollective.org].

    Do note however, as a private actor, a landlord entering your unit legally (or even illegally, but then they would risk being subject to civil and/or criminal consequences for the entry), can observe that you've got a meth lab inside, go to the police and tell them this, and the police can probably easily get a warrant to search because they now have cause. Actually, even if the landlord took (i.e., stole) something of yours from your apartment (such as a gun used in a murder), they can turn it over to the police and it can be used as evidence against you (again, they would risk being subject to civil and/or criminal consequences for the theft). However, these actions on your landlord's part can not be done in coordination with the police. The Fourth Amendment only restricts law enforcement, not private actors.

  • Re:Sure (Score:4, Informative)

    by Talderas (1212466) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @05:50PM (#46350973)

    It's not legal consent for a search. Georgia v. Rodriguez requires consent of all parties and that case hasn't been contradicted by this case.

    What this case does is establish that the police can just keep coming back and asking for consent and as soon as you, the denier of consent, are absent all your previous denies of consent no longer matter and as long as all remaining occupants grant consent the search is permitted.

  • Re:Sure (Score:5, Informative)

    by Misch (158807) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @06:11PM (#46351223) Homepage

    It seems to me that this could be interpreted to allow the following scenario: A police informant runs out of gas in front of your house. You let him in to use your phone so he can get a ride. The police then mysteriously show up wanting in. You tell them no but from behind you the informant yells "come right in."

    That's not what's going on in this case though.

    The /. summary is wrong.

    Using your case as an example, you kindly let the informant in. Later, police come to your door. The officer asks "may we search your place?" You say "no". Doesn't matter what the informant says. Your "no" still rules, as long as you are still there. That's still going to be the case.

    US v. Matlock [bloomberglaw.com], 1974 allowed the search as long as someone who could consent did consent. "Government must show, inter alia, not only that it reasonably appeared to the officers that the person had authority to consent, but also that the person had actual authority to permit the search..."

    Georgia v. Randolph, 2006 [bloomberglaw.com], changed it so that if any occupant objected, then the search could not take place.

    Today's ruling, Fernandez v. California clarified and limited the exception [scotusblog.com] from Georgia v. Randolph. If the person who objected to the search isn't there, and the person there is able to and does consent to a search, the search is valid.

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