Huffington Post – by MARK SHERMAN
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police may search a home without a warrant when two occupants disagree about allowing officers to enter, and the resident who refuses access is then arrested.
The justices declined to extend an earlier ruling denying entry to police when the occupants disagree and both are present.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the court’s 6-3 decision holding that an occupant may not object to a search when he is not at home.
“We therefore hold that an occupant who is absent due to a lawful detention or arrest stands in the same shoes as an occupant who is absent for any other reason,” Alito said.
Police found a shotgun, ammunition and a knife when they searched the Los Angeles apartment that Walter Fernandez shared with his girlfriend, Roxanne Rojas.
Fernandez told police they could not enter. But shortly after his arrest, officers returned to the apartment and persuaded Rojas to let them in.
Fernandez is serving a 14-year prison term on robbery and guns charges.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in dissent that “Fernandez’s objection to the search did not become null upon his arrest and removal from the scene.”
The court ruled 5-3 in 2006 that when two occupants who disagree about letting the police in are present, the objecting occupant prevails.
Ginsburg, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, also took issue with the notion that ruling for Fernandez would harm women who are victims of domestic violence.
Ginsburg said that police are justified in the immediate removal of the abuser from the premises. That, she said, is what happened in this case. But that shouldn’t trump the need for a warrant to overcome Fernandez’s objection to the search of his home.
When Rojas first answered the door for police, she was crying and holding her 2-month-old baby. She had a fresh bump on her nose, and blood on her hands and shirt. She said she had been in a fight.
At that point Fernandez appeared and ordered the police to get out, telling them he knew his constitutional rights. The police believed the couple had just been in a fight and removed Fernandez from the apartment in handcuffs. An officer noticed a tattoo on Fernandez’ shaved head that matched the description of a robbery suspect. Fernandez soon was arrested.
California maintained in its argument at the court that police had enough evidence at that point to get a warrant. But they said one was unnecessary because Rojas had the authority to let them in, despite Fernandez’s earlier objection.
The court agreed with that proposition Tuesday.
The case is Fernandez v. California, 12-7822.
7 thoughts on “Supreme Court Makes Big Decision On When Cops Can Enter Your Home”
I have also heard that if they have reason to believe that a felony was being comitted that they do not need a warrant. Anyone else hear of that?
I know they can chase a fleeing suspect into a house, but if they only need reason to believe a felony is being committed, that would allow them to enter any house in the vicinity if they smell meth being cooked, or something of that nature, so I doubt it, but anything’s possible these days.
Yes, that is called “Exigent Circumstances” and falls under the sphere of probable cause. We all know how these badge wearing criminals simply fabricate a story and get another officer to back it up anyway, so exigent is whatever circumstance they dream up. It’s all one big ass joke. My rule of thumb is to avoid them whenever possible and if forced into a conversation with one, brief and poignant answers only. Well, anything you say can and WILL be used against in a court of lies.
all a b a r members wet dream there is no such thing as probable cause reason to believe or any other excuse or con they use to get the sheep to allow them to continue there assaults against the ppl of this land they will tell you any lie twist the meaning or redefine a word or words to fit there agenda they barely have the power to enforce there policy on there own employees they have NO authority to enforce there company policy upon you and i that is why it is done through coercion and threat of force and force to get your consent and compliance
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in dissent that “Fernandez’s objection to the search did not become null upon his arrest and removal from the scene.”
This decrepit, sorry @ss old (so-called) ‘jew’ b#tch probably won’t even survive long enough (while being locked for trial) to face the hangman.
They can make all the damn rulings they want to. Have yet to see words (whether spoken, or on paper) stop bullets.
I think this ruling will result in a lot of women becoming homeless.
That would be my rule — if you let the cops in, you can leave when they do, and go find yourself a “cop friendly” place to live.
I love how this is an article about the supreme kangaroo court ruling on search and seizer and not one mention to law or constitution. F them all.