FL1: Bedroom and bathroom being separated by wall didn’t make house multi-family

Defendant’s bedroom and bathroom were separate in the dwelling, walled off, but there was no outward appearance that it was an independent living unit: One address, one mailbox, one kitchen, a single-family dwelling on the tax rolls. He went out the side door to do drug deals (allegedly his door) but came back in the front door. One search warrant was all that was required. Once officers got in, another wasn’t necessary. Tyson v. State, 2022 Fla. App. LEXIS 8166 (Fla. 1st DCA Nov. 23, 2022):

With these limitations in mind, we believe the “equipped for independent living” analysis identified in Ferreras, Hoston, and Ramirez is best suited for distinguishing a multi-unit dwelling from a single-family residence. Under this framework, a property is a “multi-unit dwelling” for search warrant purposes if it is comprised of more than one residence, each of which bears the hallmarks of being truly distinct and independent from the others. As the authorities cited above observed, such indicators of independence include separate street numbers, doorbells, mailboxes, utilities, exterior entrances, kitchens, and bathrooms. The greater the number of distinct identifying features, the more likely it is that two units are equipped for independent living such that officers would need separate warrants to search them.

Here, while Appellant’s bedroom and bathroom were walled-off from the remainder of the home’s interior, the record tilts in favor of a finding that 2216 West Gonzalez Street was a single-family residence. The house had a single address and a lone mailbox. Property records indicated that the house was a single-family residence. No exterior signage suggested that the house contained multiple living units. Appellant’s driver’s license listed his address as 2216 West Gonzalez Street. The house had only one kitchen, and there is no indication that Appellant’s bedroom and bathroom had a separate doorbell or utility meter. On these facts, Appellant’s bedroom and bathroom were not a substantially independent living unit that was distinct from the rest of the house. … Accordingly, a warrant authorizing a search of 2216 West Gonzalez Street necessarily included Appellant’s bedroom and bathroom—meaning, officers did not need to obtain a second search warrant.

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