MN: By living with a person on probation, one has a diminished REP in common areas

By choosing to live in the same house with a probationer, one has a diminished expectation of privacy in the common areas of one’s abode. In a probation search of the other occupant, defendant objected to the entry, but it was to no avail. From a common hallway, officers could see a firearm, and he was a prohibited person. That was plain view. State v. Bursch, 2017 Minn. App. LEXIS 332 (Dec. 18, 2017):

… Because Bursch knew that his brother and Syverson were subject to probation searches and chose to reside with them anyway, he continued to have a right of privacy in his bedroom, but had a diminished expectation of privacy in the common areas of the residence he shared with them. Accordingly, Bursch’s Fourth Amendment rights were not violated when law enforcement entered the residence over his objections. And because Hitchen knew that Bursch was not permitted to possess firearms and observed a firearm in Bursch’s bedroom from the hallway, his entry into Bursch’s private bedroom and the later seizure of those firearms were justified under the plain-view exception to the Fourth Amendment. Even if Hitchen had not seen any firearms from the hallway, his entry into Bursch’s bedroom was a legitimate protective sweep, justified by Bursch’s admission to having firearms in his bedroom and the law enforcement officers’ knowledge that Bursch was not allowed to possess firearms.

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