Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy The Courts Politics

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.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches

Comments Filter:
  • Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realilskater (76030) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:30PM (#46348333)

    If you consent to a search what is the point of requiring a warrant anyway?

    Anybody in their right mind would just tell the pigs to fuck off and get a warrant but I digress.

  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_skywise (189793) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:36PM (#46348415)

    If I object to the search then they arrest me and take me away. Then come back and ask my wife if they can search the house... If she objects do they arrest her too or consent.
    If nobody is then in the house they can easily get a warrant because, hey, both occupants were arrested for obstructing justice so they must be hiding something and nobody is there ANYWAY so it's probably a "good idea"(tm) for the judge to issue a warrant to make sure everythings, y'know, SAFE for neighborhood children.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:45PM (#46348541) Homepage Journal
    ...just keep chipping away at the rights, little by little.

    We're getting close to the point of not needing a warrant or consent at all.

    Anyone want to lay bets on when that will finally happen? I'm sadly not optimistic that it may not happen in my lifetime.

    :(

  • Re:Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xevioso (598654) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:45PM (#46348549)

    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?

    Maybe sometimes the right thing to do is to actually talk to the cops. She allowed them in, they searched the place, found evidence to put the guy in prison for 14 years, and now a gangster is off the street and she doesn't have to worry about being abused by him anymore. What's wrong with that outcome?

    Nothing.

  • I see it now (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RichMan (8097) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:48PM (#46348615)

    Ask Person #1 "Do you consent to a search?"
    Violent arrest takedown for "Obstruction" of Person #1
    Ask Person #2 "Do you consent to a search?"
    Violent arrest takedown for "Obstruction" of Person #2
    Ask Person #3 "Do you consent to a search?"
    "Sure, don't tase me bro"

    "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. "

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:50PM (#46348649)

    I like that analogy! The only quibble I have is that, as far as I know, vampires can't get a warrant.

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:53PM (#46348683)

    This is about when someone consents to a search.... youve never needed a warrant for that.

    Save your outrage for when it matters.

  • Re:Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:56PM (#46348735) Homepage

    What's wrong with that outcome?

    Nothing.

    Nothing ... apart from the legal precedent it created as a side effect.

    (Which will be abused, you can bet on that)

  • by Colin Castro (2881349) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @02:56PM (#46348749)
    The fact that they opened the door should be enough permission to enter it? That's f-ing stupid.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:02PM (#46348841) Homepage

    Good for her.

    Result: The cops can now sit in a van waiting for the owner to go out for milk before they knock on the door and ask the remaining weak-willed/simpleton residents to search the house.

    Sometimes it's better to let a guilty man go free than to pass bad (ie. abusable) laws to catch him.

  • by Delwin (599872) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:03PM (#46348863)
    No, this is about when someone didn't consent and was then arrested. The police came back and asked the remaining person who of course then consented (rather than be arrested). That should qualify as consent under duress if he had a good lawyer.
  • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@noSPAM.carpanet.net> on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:04PM (#46348875) Homepage

    It does matter, because it used to be that if police asked, and got denied, they had to go get a warrant. Now, they can play the mommy/daddy game.

    Ask one person, if they say no, go and ask the other. No need to be truthfull or anything. Police are allowed to lie, so all they have to do is go manufacture the consent of someone else, who may even just be a disgruntled roomate.

    I certainly hope such "permission" would not extend to individual areas, like personal bedrooms. As a landord who rented rooms to people. Common areas are one thing, but, personal space is personal space and something people often pay for.

    Frankly, at this point, I don't think police can be trusted to ever have a search without a warrant. We should require more warrants from them not less. This is the wrong direction.

  • Re:Sure (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThatAblaze (1723456) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:08PM (#46348965)

    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."

    Is that legal? Who knows.. now someone has to take it to court.

    What's with this supreme court no-a-days? They seem to think that it's their job just to rewrite the law whenever they choose. What upsets me is that this isn't some new issue in which technology has changed the nature of society. This is an old issue with an established procedure. This scenario would have been just as relevant in the 1950s, but the court at the time would have never ruled this way.

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:09PM (#46349003)

    ""You don't have any right to come in here. I know my rights," Fernandez shouted from inside the apartment, according to court records.
    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."

    Occupant A doesn't give consent and then gets arrested. So of course Occupant B gives consent... he just watched them arrest the other guy.

    Personally, I'm more concerned with how they define "occupant". Is it anybody that happens to be in the house at that time? Do children count?

  • Re:Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gmclapp (2834681) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:19PM (#46349157)
    Pre-WWII Jews had nothing to hide.

    Pre-Red scare communist sympathizers had nothing to hide...

    It must be nice to know you don't have anything to hide that might soon become taboo...
  • Re:Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drkim (1559875) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:24PM (#46349233)

    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.

    There was no emergency, but they didn't "bust in claiming that it was an emergency."

    They knocked on the door and asked Rojas, who lived there, if they could enter. She said they could. So they did.
    They didn't force her - they asked her.

    If the guy had been home (he wasn't) and he had objected, they wouldn't have entered.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:27PM (#46349295)

    The weakness I see in this argument is that -any- occupant of the domicile at the time can consent, even if they are the ones doing the crime (eg like a home invasion.)

    I think it needs clarification that the occupant must not be under duress to comply. eg, if mommy and daddy are having a fight, one of them can consent, but if neither of them are consenting but an argument is escalating the cops should be able to use some kind of imminent danger defense and not just "let us in immediately or we will come back with a warrant and take you by force."

  • Re:I see it now (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoKaOi (1415755) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:35PM (#46349377)

    The first occupant was not arrested for "Obstruction" but in connection to a robber that had just occurred. Changing what actually occurred to match your views is not valid. If your scenario actually occurred the case would be thrown out based on false arrest as refusal of a search is not obstruction.

    So, if they had enough probably cause to arrest him, shouldn't they have had enough probably cause for a warrant? Perhaps either the cops were too lazy to do their jobs and get a search warrant, or they arrested him knowing they didn't really have enough probable cause, figuring they'd get it once they searched the house.

    What's perhaps worse is that the cops knew they needed to get a warrant once the guy refused, because this all happened before the court ruling. So to summarize: they were too lazy to get a warrant in the first place and searched anyway when they knew it was illegal to do so at that time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @03:53PM (#46349603)

    The possiblity for abuse lies in the fact that whenever police are now faced with multiple residents and some are refusing a search and one or more are not, it's a very obvious tactic for the cops to simply arrest the ones refusing the search and then get permission to search from the remaining resident. All it takes is a wife, parents or child of 18 or more who live with you and will back down when threatened by cops.

    This guy sounded like a scumbag. But the potential for abuse is there.

  • Re:Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:01PM (#46349723) Homepage

    Three people in the house. Police ask to search. Person 1 says no, gets arrested for silly charge and carted off. Police return and ask again. Person 2 says no, gets arrested on silly charge and carted off. Police return and ask person three while stroking handcuffs. What to say, what to say?

  • Re:Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skegg (666571) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @05:26PM (#46350659)

    Good point. And thankfully, litigation is completely free and fair.

    You don't need to spend thousands on a lawyer. Nor do you have to take time off work to meet with said lawyer and go to court.
    Plus, you're guaranteed to get an equitable judge; one who isn't on a first-name-basis with representatives of the police department.

    I wish I lived in your world ...

  • Re:Sure (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davester666 (731373) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @06:54PM (#46351701) Journal

    The police only have to believe that the person has apparent authority to permit the search. No actual proof of authority, or even that you live there is required. They only have to "believe" you have the authority to ok it.

  • Re:Sure (Score:4, Insightful)

    by joaommp (685612) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @06:57PM (#46351733) Homepage Journal

    precisely, and that's the problem. this is going to end up badly in so many ways.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

Working...