CA9: Entry by def’s bondsman was by contractual consent; gun not suppressed

Defendant was arrested in his home by his bondsman retaking him, and the bondsman recovered a gun. Defendant was a felon. Defendant consented in advance to being retaken by his bondsman, and that was essentially consent in advance. United States v. Burrow, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10502 (9th Cir. June 13, 2017):

Citing to Bumper v. North Carolina, 391 U.S. 543, 88 S. Ct. 1788, 20 L. Ed. 2d 797 (1968), Burrow contends that his consent to Ratigan’s entry and search was tainted by coercion because Burrow was merely acquiescing to Ratigan’s claim of right as a bondsman. But Burrow freely consented to contractual terms giving Ratigan a claim of right to enter and search his home when he signed the bail bond contract. That Ratigan later enforced this right does not mean that Burrow’s consent was coerced or involuntary. Bumper therefore does not require reversal, and the District Court’s determination that Burrow consented to Ratigan’s search was not clearly erroneous.

A better rationale is just that this is a private search, but the court didn’t go there because lack of consent was the issue.

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