CA8: Randolph co-tenant consent doesn’t limit domestic abuse investigations

Defendant’s co-tenant consented to a police entry for a domestic abuse investigation, and then defendant later objected. Randolph does not limit the ability of the police to protect domestic abuse victims. Once inside, a protective sweep was permissible, too. Police also obtained a search warrant for the premises and a drug dog came along. The dog alerted on a car in the driveway and within the warrant, so that search wasn’t invalid under Collins v. Virginia. United States v. Coleman, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33199 (8th Cir. Nov. 27, 2018). As to the consent:

Coleman levels numerous Fourth Amendment attacks on the officers’ actions. First, he argues that Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U.S. 103 (2006), established that Coleman’s demand that Crowder leave the residence prevailed over co-occupant Phillips’s consent to enter. We disagree. In Randolph, an objecting co-tenant at the door refused to consent to entry by police who were told by his co-tenant there was evidence of drug use in the house. The Court made clear that a co-tenant’s consent to entry will suffice if a potential objector is nearby but not part of the threshold colloquy. Id. at 121; see United States v. Hudspeth, 518 F.3d 954, 960 (8th Cir. 2009) (en banc) (“Hudspeth was not at the door and objecting and does not fall within Randolph’s ‘fine line.'”). In addition, the Court in Randolph made clear that “this case has no bearing on the capacity of the police to protect domestic victims.” Id. at 118 and 127 (Breyer, J., concurring). Here, Coleman did not object until after Crowder entered the residence with Phillips’s consent to investigate her report of domestic violence. Coleman’s objection did not invalidate the lawful entry.

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