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Posted: 1/7/2006 7:53:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2006 7:54:21 AM EDT by AR15fan]
High Court To Set Rules For Warrantless Entry
The Associated Press



The Supreme Court said Friday it would clarify when police can enter a home without a search warrant, in a case involving Utah officers who watched a fight through a window.

Justices will consider officers' handling of an early morning complaint in Brigham City about a loud party. The officers peered through a door and windows and saw four adults restraining a juvenile, who then broke free and punched one of the adults in the face.

The officers entered and arrested the adults, who were charged with intoxication, disorderly conduct and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

A judge threw out the charges, on grounds that the police entered without a search warrant.

In an appeal, the state of Utah argued that courts are deeply divided on what emergency circumstances are required for warrantless police entries.

"The Brigham City officers' entry into the home was not only reasonable, but compelled by the circumstances. The officers would have been derelict in their duty had they not acted," state lawyers told justices.

States supporting Utah in the case are Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

The case is Brigham City v. Stuart, 05-502.


Should be interesting. I cant see the court saying dont enter to stop a violent asault. But if they do it will make my job easier. "Yep sarge, he was beating the shit out of her when i got there, saw it all trough the kitchen window. But we didnt have a warrant so I went and got donuts."
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:57:01 AM EDT
Looks like a good entry to me.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:58:18 AM EDT
erm. probable cause?!
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 7:58:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Looks like a good entry to me.



me too. stopping crime is what cops are there for last I heard.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:01:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2006 8:02:38 AM EDT by AR15fan]

Originally Posted By CastorTroy:
erm. probable cause?!



You need probable cause to arrest.

There are several exceptions to the warrant requirement, one of which is protection of life. But it looks like the court will clarify that.

In this case it looks like four adults assaulting a juvenile. Should the cops just walk away becuase they dont have a warrant?
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:02:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By CastorTroy:
erm. probable cause?!



You need probable cause to arrest.

There are several exceptions to the warrant requirement, one of which is protection of life. But it looks like the court will clarify that.



I thought this had already been decided once before. The above case seems to be SOP.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:05:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By CastorTroy:
erm. probable cause?!



You need probable cause to arrest.

There are several exceptions to the warrant requirement, one of which is protection of life. But it looks like the court will clarify that.



I thought this had already been decided once before. The above case seems to be SOP.



I think the nature of the call is going to be a big issue. It appears they were sent to a party call, not a domestic dispute.

Had it been a call of a domestic dispute, and it were a man beating on a woman, i think the lower courts would have upheld the warrantless entry.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:08:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By CastorTroy:
erm. probable cause?!



You need probable cause to arrest.

There are several exceptions to the warrant requirement, one of which is protection of life. But it looks like the court will clarify that.

In this case it looks like four adults assaulting a juvenile. Should the cops just walk away becuase they dont have a warrant?



"Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Historically, courts have held that when a police officer sees a crime being committed, he does not have to leave the scene to approach a Judge to get a Warrant. He is allowed (expected) to take reasonable action to stop the crime.

The court will, at a later date, decide if he had "probable cause" to act.

Not many facts listed in this article, but sounds like plenty of Probable Cause to me.

Good arrest and entry.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:15:01 AM EDT
what would happen in that situation if your door was locked, and the music at the party was just loud enough so that you couldnt hear the knocking? Would they be allowed to beat your door down??
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:15:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By USGI_45:
what would happen in that situation if your door was locked, and the music at the party was just loud enough so that you couldnt hear the knocking? Would they be allowed to beat your door down??



Door goes down.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:17:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By USGI_45:
what would happen in that situation if your door was locked, and the music at the party was just loud enough so that you couldnt hear the knocking? Would they be allowed to beat your door down??



The door was not beat down over a loud party.

They entered the house to protect life. To stop a violent assault.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:18:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By CastorTroy:
erm. probable cause?!



You need probable cause to arrest.

There are several exceptions to the warrant requirement, one of which is protection of life. But it looks like the court will clarify that.



I thought this had already been decided once before. The above case seems to be SOP.



I think the nature of the call is going to be a big issue. It appears they were sent to a party call, not a domestic dispute.

Had it been a call of a domestic dispute, and it were a man beating on a woman, i think the lower courts would have upheld the warrantless entry.



I still can't see the nature of the call being an issue. You see a crime being committed, particurally someone being assualted, you make entry and the arrest.

Even if you were on a call to neighbors house, see an assualt in the house next door, you go in. Seems pretty simple to me.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:20:53 AM EDT
Exigency is exigency......
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:23:26 AM EDT

WTF!? Cops see an assault in progress and enter to stop it without first getting a search warrant!???


The 4th Am is dead.



Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:24:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By CastorTroy:
erm. probable cause?!



You need probable cause to arrest.

There are several exceptions to the warrant requirement, one of which is protection of life. But it looks like the court will clarify that.



I thought this had already been decided once before. The above case seems to be SOP.



I think the nature of the call is going to be a big issue. It appears they were sent to a party call, not a domestic dispute.

Had it been a call of a domestic dispute, and it were a man beating on a woman, i think the lower courts would have upheld the warrantless entry.



I still can't see the nature of the call being an issue. You see a crime being committed, particurally someone being assualted, you make entry and the arrest.

Even if you were on a call to neighbors house, see an assualt in the house next door, you go in. Seems pretty simple to me.



Perhaps. But fights are to be expected at parties. In my agency we cannot even arrest for a simple assault & battery unless the victim desires prosecution and signs an order of arrest. The "no victim/no crime" rule.

We certainly dont make warrantless entry of a house to make arrest for a non-violent crime/break up a party. Hot pursuit, destruction of evidence, protection of life are all good though. I think the court will side with the cops not so much because in this case it was really necessary. but becuase the court will be afraid of tying the cops hands in domestic violence cases if they rule against warrantless entry to stop fights.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:25:07 AM EDT


"The Brigham City officers' entry into the home was not only reasonable, but compelled by the circumstances. The officers would have been derelict in their duty had they not acted," state lawyers told justices.



Yep, the officers used their heads and acted accordingly (and appropriately, IMO).
Leave it up to a judge to dismiss common sense.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:28:19 AM EDT
Allthough it sounds like the PoPo had mucho probable cause in this case,who wants to bet that SCOTUS will hand down a decision that will be abused by the Jr Hitlers and Stalins among usEven though a law or court decision may look reasonable now,think how you will feel in 08 living in Amerika under a Hitlery Klinton justice department.Random warentless searches of the homes of gunowners or NRA members(suspected terrorists).Or maybe the homes of members of "extremists" churchs that continue to preach that homosexuality is a sin in violation of a anti hate speech law.If the police witness a crime in progress,especially a violent crime,by all means allow them to use whatever force they need to stop it,but lets not just do away with what little is left of the Bill of Rights
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:30:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2006 8:31:43 AM EDT by viper5194]
IMO theres not enough info above to make a clear decision. The above post didnt say the adults where ASSAULTING the juvenile. It said the Juvenile was assaulting the adults.

It says they where restraining a juvenile ( WHY? is my question ), the minor was aparently strong enough to break free of FOUR adults and ASSAULT one of them. Why where the adults chargedwith intoxication if they where in there own place of residence? Was the minor chargedwith assault sincethe police witnessed him slug an adult? Why where the adaults trying to restrain the juvenile? Ive personaly seen some teens who seriously needed restaint.....
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:30:48 AM EDT
I hate to say it, but probably a good entry. While I'm definitely no fan of giving the cops broad sweeping powers, which the current administration/Supreme Court seems to have no problem with, this one seems to fall under existing police powers. BUT I'd prefer it if the cops had to be able to PROVE that such an assault was going on, via video tape, after the fact. Just their word on it isn't going to cut it; they lie often enough. I know, not all cops are bad, but there's enough bad apples/JBT wannabes out there that iron clad proof is needed, IMHO.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:41:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By viper5194:
IMO theres not enough info above to make a clear decision. The above post didnt say the adults where ASSAULTING the juvenile. It said the Juvenile was assaulting the adults.

It says they where restraining a juvenile ( WHY? is my question).



I agree. Were they restraining him because he was being a drunk prick who just crashed the party? Or were they getting ready to renact the priosn rape scene in American History X. The cops mindset and what they reasonably belived at the time is important, like always.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:59:57 AM EDT
Let me get out my crystal ball. I predict 6-3.

For the police:
Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Kennedy, O'Connor (depending on what happens with Alito), Souter

For the Party-goers:
Ginsburg, Stevens, Breyer

Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:14:46 AM EDT
this sounds like a good entry to me. im more concerned with the proliferation of no-knock warrants. i know why they are an important tool for LE but it seems like 2 or 3 times a year we are hearing about no-knocks on the wrong address etc.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:24:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By CastorTroy:
erm. probable cause?!



You need probable cause to arrest.

There are several exceptions to the warrant requirement, one of which is protection of life. But it looks like the court will clarify that.



I thought this had already been decided once before. The above case seems to be SOP.



I think the nature of the call is going to be a big issue. It appears they were sent to a party call, not a domestic dispute.

Had it been a call of a domestic dispute, and it were a man beating on a woman, i think the lower courts would have upheld the warrantless entry.



I still can't see the nature of the call being an issue. You see a crime being committed, particurally someone being assualted, you make entry and the arrest.

Even if you were on a call to neighbors house, see an assualt in the house next door, you go in. Seems pretty simple to me.



What crime? The article states:


The officers peered through a door and windows and saw four adults restraining a juvenile, who then broke free and punched one of the adults in the face.


What if the kid has epilepsy and was having an attack and the adults were holding him so he didn't hurt himself? What if the parents/people there do not want government intervention?

A lot of posters on this board think that just because an officer "feels" or "thinks" a crime has been committed that they can bust down the door and dictate to people what they can do in their own home.

By a lot of the posts and reasoning in the previous posts, the cops should of been able to break down the door anyway, even if they didn't see a person in the house. They had a "loud" radio which is clearly a crime, disturbing the peace.

It's amazing how many people crave the government to be "big brother" with a police state.

Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:25:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Looks like a good entry to me.



me too. stopping crime is what cops are there for last I heard.



Guess you heard wrong, then.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:37:29 AM EDT

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND(1)

¶2 Four Brigham City police officers responded to a complaint of a loud party. They arrived at the offending residence at about three o'clock in the morning. They traveled to the back of the house to investigate the noise. From a location in the driveway, the officers peered through a slat fence and observed two apparently underage males drinking alcohol. The officers then entered the backyard through a gate, thereby obtaining a clear view into the back of the house through a screen door and two windows. The officers saw four adults restraining one juvenile. The juvenile broke free, swung a fist and struck one of the adults in the face. Two officers then opened the screen door and "hollered" to identify themselves. When no one heard them, they entered the kitchen. After entering, one of the officers again shouted to identify and call attention to himself. As those present in the kitchen became aware of the officers, they became angry that the officers had entered the house without permission.

¶3 The officers subsequently arrested the adults. They were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, disorderly conduct, and intoxication. The defendants filed a motion to suppress which gave rise to this petition.

¶4 The trial court entered the following findings of fact in support of its order granting the motion to suppress:

"1. On July 23, 2001, at approximately 3:00 a.m., four Brigham City Police officers were dispatched . . . as a result of a call concerning a loud party.

2. After arrival at the residence, the officers, from their observations from the front of the residence, determined that it was obvious that knocking on the front door would have done no good. It was appropriate that they proceed down the driveway alongside the house to further investigate.

3. After going down the driveway on the side of the house, the officers could see, through a slat fence, two juveniles consuming alcoholic beverages. At that point, because of the juveniles, there was probable cause for the officers to enter into the backyard.

4. Upon entering the backyard, the officers observed, through windows and a screen door an altercation taking place, wherein it appeared that four adults were trying to control a juvenile. At one point, the juvenile got a hand loose and smacked one of the occupants of the residence in the nose.

5. At that point in time, the court finds no exigent circumstances to justify the officers' entry into the residence. What he should have done, as required under the 4th amendment, was knock on the door. The evidence is that there was a loud, tumultuous thing going on, and the evidence is that the occupants probably would not have heard, but under the 4th amendment he has an obligation to at least attempt before entering."



A little more to the story.... already in the yard as a result of PC, and the UTSC ruled they should knocked on the back door first......
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:38:27 AM EDT
You need to read the actual case and not some BS newspaper article to get an understanding of the legal arguments and decisons that were made in the case.

This is just an excerpt. You need to read the rest of it to understand the decison:

caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=ut&vol=supopin&invol=brigha021805

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND(1)

¶2 Four Brigham City police officers responded to a complaint of a loud party. They arrived at the offending residence at about three o'clock in the morning. They traveled to the back of the house to investigate the noise. From a location in the driveway, the officers peered through a slat fence and observed two apparently underage males drinking alcohol. The officers then entered the backyard through a gate, thereby obtaining a clear view into the back of the house through a screen door and two windows. The officers saw four adults restraining one juvenile. The juvenile broke free, swung a fist and struck one of the adults in the face. Two officers then opened the screen door and "hollered" to identify themselves. When no one heard them, they entered the kitchen. After entering, one of the officers again shouted to identify and call attention to himself. As those present in the kitchen became aware of the officers, they became angry that the officers had entered the house without permission.

¶3 The officers subsequently arrested the adults. They were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, disorderly conduct, and intoxication. The defendants filed a motion to suppress which gave rise to this petition.

¶4 The trial court entered the following findings of fact in support of its order granting the motion to suppress:

"1. On July 23, 2001, at approximately 3:00 a.m., four Brigham City Police officers were dispatched . . . as a result of a call concerning a loud party.

2. After arrival at the residence, the officers, from their observations from the front of the residence, determined that it was obvious that knocking on the front door would have done no good. It was appropriate that they proceed down the driveway alongside the house to further investigate.

3. After going down the driveway on the side of the house, the officers could see, through a slat fence, two juveniles consuming alcoholic beverages. At that point, because of the juveniles, there was probable cause for the officers to enter into the backyard.

4. Upon entering the backyard, the officers observed, through windows and a screen door an altercation taking place, wherein it appeared that four adults were trying to control a juvenile. At one point, the juvenile got a hand loose and smacked one of the occupants of the residence in the nose.

5. At that point in time, the court finds no exigent circumstances to justify the officers' entry into the residence. What he should have done, as required under the 4th amendment, was knock on the door. The evidence is that there was a loud, tumultuous thing going on, and the evidence is that the occupants probably would not have heard, but under the 4th amendment he has an obligation to at least attempt before entering."

Brigham City v. Stuart, 2002 UT App 317, ¶ 12, 57 P.3d 1111 (quoting trial court order).

¶5 The court of appeals determined that Brigham City had not challenged the trial court's findings of fact and denied an attempt by Brigham City to supplement the factual findings. Id. at ¶ 6. The court of appeals adopted the facts as found by the trial court and based its holding on them. Id.

¶6 Brigham City has urged us to expand our review of the facts to include all of the evidence received at the suppression hearing. Brigham City did not, however, ask us to review the court of appeals's denial of its attempt to expand the scope of reviewable facts. We therefore confine the factual component of our review to the facts considered by the court of appeals.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:54:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Redcap:

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Looks like a good entry to me.



me too. stopping crime is what cops are there for last I heard.



Guess you heard wrong, then.



+1 You did hear wrong, TRH.

The police are there to provide for the 'general welfare' and investigate crimes. They don't have ESP and don't arrest people for 'pre-crimes' yet. This is actually a pro-police stance.

If they can stop any further crimes from being committed then great! But they shouldn't be expected to do so and can't be everywhere anytime something bad happens. The Supreme Court ruled so. This means that people have to <gasp> take responsibility for their safety.

This is a piss poor excuse of a 'test case' for warrantless searches of a home. The police see an altercation and a reasonable response would be to investigate what exactly is going on. Once they've established that the teenager was having a seizure, or there was no evidence of a crime, then they should leave. The prosecutor should not be able to use any evidence found/collected for a crime unrelated to their original reason for entering the home. No, this does not mean they should give back the ten pound bag of cocaine they find, but they should not be able to use it as evidence if it was found because they entered the house for the reason stated in the story.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:56:14 AM EDT
" ¶3 The officers subsequently arrested the adults. They were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, disorderly conduct, and intoxication. The defendants filed a motion to suppress which gave rise to this petition."

It's illegal to get drunk?

Link Posted: 1/7/2006 10:25:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
3. After going down the driveway on the side of the house, the officers could see, through a slat fence, two juveniles consuming alcoholic beverages. At that point, because of the juveniles, there was probable cause for the officers to enter into the backyard.

4. Upon entering the backyard, the officers observed, through windows and a screen door an altercation taking place, wherein it appeared that four adults were trying to control a juvenile. At one point, the juvenile got a hand loose and smacked one of the occupants of the residence in the nose.



Why is this going to the Supreme Court again? Anyone hear of curtains? This is why you can't see into my basement. When I start growing my tomato seedlings in a few months I don't need a judge issuing a search warrant for a 'marijuana growing room'.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 2:04:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rkbar15:
You need to read the actual case and not some BS newspaper article to get an understanding of the legal arguments and decisons that were made in the case.

This is just an excerpt. You need to read the rest of it to understand the decison:



Ok, reading the case, there are a few things that pop out at me.


They traveled to the back of the house to investigate the noise.


Why didn't they knock on the front door? They drove to the front of the house, and could ascertain that the noise was coming from that house. Knock on the front door, explain there was a call about the noise, ask them to turn it down, and then leave.


From a location in the driveway, the officers peered through a slat fence and observed two apparently underage males drinking alcohol.


So the property owner put up a fence in order to have privacy. The police creep around to the side of the house and "peer" through cracks in the fence. Sounds more like what a stalker or peeper would do. At which point there are two "apparently" underage males drinking "alcohol". What about people who look underage but aren't, and what if they were drinking near-beer.


The officers then entered the backyard through a gate, thereby obtaining a clear view into the back of the house through a screen door and two windows. The officers saw four adults restraining one juvenile. The juvenile broke free, swung a fist and struck one of the adults in the face.


So basically they couldn't be troubled to knock at the front door so find a way to get into the backyard, which has a fence for privacy. They peep through screens and windows and see a possible wrestling match.



Two officers then opened the screen door and "hollered" to identify themselves. When no one heard them, they entered the kitchen.


How loud is a "holler"? Is that like when the police do a search with a warrant that requires knocking and identifying themselves so they <knock> so lightly no one can hear, then whisper
<police> and knock down the door?


After entering, one of the officers again shouted to identify and call attention to himself. As those present in the kitchen became aware of the officers, they became angry that the officers had entered the house without permission.


Now the police have found a way to enter a house with no warrant, or permission so it's "RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH" and time to arrest someone no matter what.

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