You are dispatched to a 911 call for a domestic in progress. A neighbor heard loud screaming and is concerned for the safety of the two people inside the house. It is early afternoon and the two houses are separated by about 40 feet. The neighbor heard yelling inside his/her house and the reported domestic is happening inside the other house. Everyone's windows are closed. You arrive and hear a heated argument inside from the road when you exit your car (25-30 feet away). As you approach, you hear banging and yelling, cursing, etc. You knock on the door and everything goes silent. Your partner shows up about two minutes later. Someone peers out the blinds at you at the door, and closes them quickly when you make eye contact. You continue to knock on the door and identify yourself, telling them to come to the door. Question A - If this is all you had, what would you do? As you knock, the door, which is old and unlocked, pops open on its own about three inches. You see inside that many items are overturned and broken, and there are beer cans on the floor. Question B - What now? I maintain that given the totality of the circumstances, at point "A" if they won't answer, you have enough to force entry to verify that no one is dead or injured based upon the specifics of this case, as well as domestic violence training and experience with domestic assaults. It might be "aggressive," as far as search and seizure goes, and would likely be challenged in court if there actually was an assault, but I maintain it is perfectly legal under "exigent circumstances" or "emergency aid" exceptions. At point "B" I think that there is no question, if they refuse to come to the door, you can go in to check for possible victims of an assault. This hypothetical situation hypothetically took place before a recent Supreme Court decision, which I think backs me up on my thinking in both instances, provided that I articulate it as I did above. The decision says that "the warrantless search is objectively reasonable...[when there is] the need to assist persons who are seriously injured or threatened with such injury." I maintain that the average non-police-officer citizen would find a warrantless search only for possible victims to be objectively reasonable. http://www.officer.com/online/article.jsp?siteSection=1&id=49859 What do you think?