D.N.M.: Def lived with his grandfather, and the “presumption of consent” in a familial relationship was apparent to officers

Defendant lived with his grandfather, and the familial relationship is different than that of a co-tenant. The evidence apparent to the officers was that the grandfather had control of the premises, and the grandson slept either in a bedroom or shed. The “presumption of consent” was not overcome by anything the officers knew. United States v. Quezada-Lara, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126856 (D. N.M. July 30, 2018):

Here, the government presented evidence that the officers knew facts creating a presumption of authority to consent. Ms. Artega told the officers that Mr. Lara was the grandfather of Mr. Quezada-Lara, and Mr. Lara told the officers that he lived there with his daughter and grandson. Mr. Lara showed the agents his bedroom as well as his grandson’s bedroom. Although Mr. Lara was not aware that his grandson had firearms in his bedroom, Mr. Lara knew that his grandson would sleep either in his bedroom or in the shed outside. He told the agents that his grandson had been home earlier in the day and had taken a shower. Mr. Lara’s recollections about his grandson’s presence and activities at home were familial in nature and did not alert the officers to any facts that would undermine a presumption of authority to consent. There was no evidence indicating that Mr. Quezada-Lara’s bedroom door had a lock or padlock, that Mr. Quezada-Lara paid rent, or that he had any agreement with his mother and/or grandfather that they could not enter his room without consent. Without any of these indications, and knowing that they were family, the agents were not obligated to inquire further. Romero, 749 F.3d at 907.

Based on the agents’ testimony as to what Mr. Lara told them about the house and its residents, the Court concludes that Mr. Lara had actual authority to consent to a search of the house, including Mr. Quezada-Lara’s bedroom, because Mr. Lara lives there with his daughter, and had access to and control over the premises.

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