MN: Arrest warrant permits entry into home of third party for arrest of guest

“Neither the United States Constitution nor the Minnesota Constitution requires police to obtain a search warrant before entering a third party’s home to execute a lawfully issued arrest warrant for a guest.” State v. deLottinville, 2017 Minn. LEXIS 55 (Feb. 15, 2017):

In a nutshell, Payton describes the Fourth Amendment rights of a homeowner subject to an arrest warrant, while Steagald explains the rights of a homeowner when police execute an arrest warrant for a guest. But the Supreme Court has not yet defined the Fourth Amendment rights of those in deLottinville’s position: guests subject to an arrest warrant.

We conclude that Payton sets the ceiling on a guest’s Fourth Amendment rights. A guest should not receive any greater Fourth Amendment protection when outside her home than when inside it. The home is “first among equals” under the Fourth Amendment, representing the “very core” of a person’s constitutional protections. Florida v. Jardines, ___ U.S. ___, ___, 133 S. Ct. 1409, 1414 (2013) (quoting Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 511 (1961) (internal quotation marks omitted)). Yet Payton held that it is constitutionally reasonable for police to enter a person’s own home when police have an arrest warrant for that person. Payton, 445 U.S. at 602. Because Fourth Amendment rights are at their apex in one’s own home, it necessarily follows that the subject of an arrest warrant enjoys no greater protection as a guest in another’s home.

In other words, it is a person’s status as the subject of the arrest warrant, not whether the person is in her own home or the home of another, that is decisive under Payton’s logic. Here, police lawfully obtained an arrest warrant for deLottinville and entered the home knowing that she was there, so their entry did not violate her Fourth Amendment rights.

Federal circuit courts almost universally agree. Of the ten circuit courts that have addressed this issue, nine have held that a guest’s Fourth Amendment rights are not violated by police entry into another’s home to arrest a guest under a lawful arrest warrant. …

This entry was posted in Arrest or entry on arrest. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.