FAIR PLAY / SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE

4th Amd. — can’t use emergency exception if the basis for the exception disclaims emergency

Posted in Uncategorized by Ryan Locke on April 12, 2010

I came across this case last week. Police officers need an objective basis for an emergency entry, not a subjective motivation.  Nevada held that an entry based on a domestic disturbance where the police arrived after being called by a neighbor and talked to the female involved through a cracked door, where she told them that nobody was hurt and she did not want the police inside, was unreasonable and the drugs found after entry should be suppressed.  This seems correct — if the object of the emergency entry is telling you there’s no emergency, and she doesn’t appear under duress, then you can’t rely on that basis for entry.  The court followed Brigham City [the kitchen fight at a party case], which stated that “the reasonableness of an emergency home entry depends on whether “‘the circumstances, viewed objectively, justify [the] action.”  547 U.S. at 402.  Hannon v. State, 2009 Nev. LEXIS 15 (May 21, 2009).

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