Your favorite Constitutional Court has just discovered yet another exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.
Following a never-ending line of cases that have ripped apart and mutilated the right to require warrant to enter your home, SCOTUS hs just realized this exception is found in the Constitution: police can ignore your objection to a search of your home if they physically remove you and then ask someone else for permission to search. It doesn’t have to be an emergency. It doesn’t even have to be “urgent.”
The case that produced this exception to the warrant is called Fernandez v. California and a summary of the facts are as follows:
Police officers observed a suspect in a violent robbery run into an apartment building, and heard screams coming from one of the apartments. They knocked on the apartment door, which was answered by Roxanne Rojas, who appeared to be battered and bleeding. When the officers asked her to step out of the apartment so that they could conduct a protective sweep, petitioner came to the door and objected. Suspecting that he had assaulted Rojas, the officers removed petitioner from the apartment and placed him under arrest. He was then identified as the perpetrator in the earlier robbery and taken to the police station. An officer later returned to the apartment and, after obtaining Rojas’ oral and written consent, searched the premises, where he found several items linking petitioner to the robbery.
See what the cops did there? They wanted him out of the house so they decided that the woman must have been attacked by the suspect and so they arrested him. Note: the woman didn’t claim she was attacked and we later learn in the opinion she provided a reasonable explanation for the “injuries” the cops supposedly saw.
So this case works out well for cops.
If they want to search a home, but some jag off is standing on his 4th Amendment rights, they just cook up an excuse to cross the threshold to arrest him, take him to jail, then sweet talk another resident into consenting to a search.
Fortunately there is a defense to this new Fernandez exception:
never answer the door for cops.
Had she not answered the door this would not have played out as it did.
Had he not come to the door, this would not have ended up as it did.
SCOTUS is on a mission to toss the 4th as a relic of the past so you better be ready steady and accurate.