(February 26, 2014) Supreme Court hands police more power to conduct warrantless house searches
The US Supreme Court has ruled that police may search a home without obtaining a warrant despite the objection of one occupant if that occupant has been removed from the premises.
With its 6 to 3 decision in Fernandez v. California on Tuesday, the Court sided with law enforcement’s ability to conduct warrantless searches after restricting police powers with its 2006 decision on a similar case.
In 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department sought suspect Walter Fernandez, believed to have stabbed someone in a violent gang robbery. When police first arrived at the suspect’s home, they heard yelling and screaming before Fernandez’s live-in girlfriend Roxanne Rojas answered the door, appearing “freshly bruised and bloody,” and with an infant in hand, according to argument recap by SCOTUSblog.
Fernandez was spotted by police, and said, “Get out. I know my rights.