When the target of an arrest warrant opens the door, state statute requires announcement and not just barging in. Here, defendant was compliant and opened the door. The officers needed to announce their purpose. The alleged plain view inside is suppressed for violating the announcement statute. State v. Sorensen, 2023 Iowa App. LEXIS 199 (Mar. 8, 2023):
To complete an arrest in a person’s home, the legislature gave law enforcement several steps to follow in section 804.15. And we must interpret the language of the statute to give the words meaning. See Hornby v. State, 559 N.W.2d 23, 25 (Iowa 1977) (“We are guided by what the legislature actually said, rather than what it might have or should have said.”). Under the steps provided by section 804.15 and the guidance of Kubit, as a final step before entry, Trooper Barnes was required to demand entrance to effectuate the arrest and give Sorensen the opportunity to comply. This opportunity to comply is essential because it is the compliance or noncompliance of the individual that either confers or extinguishes an officer’s ability to enter the home with only an arrest warrant. Kubit, 627 N.W.2d at 923. “If an arrest warrant allows police to enter the home regardless of the actions of the suspect, the purpose of section 804.15 is eviscerated and the protection of the Fourth Amendment’s search warrant requirement is destroyed.” Id. at 922.
A “purpose of this ‘knock and announce rule’ is to protect the privacy of the citizen and is governed under the reasonableness requirement of the Fourth Amendment.”8 Id. at 921. Yet, it seems somewhat unnecessary that, once Sorensen knew the troopers were there to arrest him and at his doorway, they then had to use the magic words to get permission to enter. But we cannot predict what might have been the course taken if Trooper Barnes had asked for entry to execute the arrest warrant. Sorensen, by all accounts, remained cooperative, so he may have precluded any entry by the troopers by simply leaving the home and going with them. In that scenario, no drug contraband would have been seen. Or he may have granted admittance, where in such case, once he moved to get clothing, Trooper Barnes was constitutionally authorized to follow and there, the resulting plain view exception to the warrantless search would be viable. See State v. Tolsdorf, 574 N.W.2d 290, 292 (Iowa 1998) (applying the rule to the search of a vehicle but discussing premises-search cases as well); State v. Skola, No. 00-1643, 2001 Iowa App. LEXIS 659, 2001 WL 1446979, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Nov. 16, 2001) (recognizing the cursory safety check exception). In the balancing of interests, the statute and our cases require that Sorensen have the chance to opt to leave the home with the troopers where he appears to be cooperating.
Caution: This outcome likely would not be the same under the Fourth Amendment.
"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“I am still learning.”
—Domenico Giuntalodi (but misattributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti (common phrase throughout 1500's)).
"Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government."
—Shemaya, in the Thalmud
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one's attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced."
v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold,
J.), rev'd Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).
"The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws,
or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence." —Mapp
v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).
"Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment."
—Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).
"There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that
bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the
police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater
than it is today."
v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).
"The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their
v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)
"It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have
frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And
so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his
case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth
States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)
"The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated
here, has not–to put it mildly–run smooth."
v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
"A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the
bottom of a turntable."
v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)
"For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly
exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth
Amendment protection. ... But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in
an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected."
v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)
“Experience should teach us to be most on guard to
protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born
to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded
rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men
of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
“Liberty—the freedom from unwarranted
intrusion by government—is as easily lost through insistent nibbles by
government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose
it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.”
States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
"You can't always get what you want /
But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need."
—Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
"In Germany, they first came for the communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for
the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came
for me–and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."
—Martin Niemöller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration
“You know, most men would get discouraged by
now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men!”
---Pepé Le Pew
"The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers,
is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which
reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that
those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being
judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting
v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)