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Warrant arrest at a 3rd party residence

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One of our guys is on the U.S. Marshall task force. He came in and was discussing either something they had gone over or was their policy. Either way, I'd like to see how your dept would handle it.

He was saying that if you go to a third person residence with a warrant and see your offender in the window. If you are denied entry from the resident who lives there then a search warrant needs to be obtained to make entry and make an arrest. That the third party still has their 4 th amendment rights. This is absent exigencies circumstances or hot pursuit. I'm referring to a warrant where that address isn't on the warrant. Same as seeing a pot plant in the window.

So I asked if you know the guy is there and have relayed that to the homeowner then any action they take obstructing that arrest would be a charge. Since that is something happening in your presence one could enter to take the resident for resisting an arrest and since that entry was lawful then arrest the guy on the warrant.

So, how do you approach it?
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If we have a felony warrant and we know the person is inside, (maybe we see him enter or we see him through a window) we are going to get him right now. Anyone who interferes in any way (or lies about the person being there) is going to jail for hindering apprehension. That is of course under Texas statutes. Other state or federal rules may vary.

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
Art. 15.23. TIME OF ARREST. An arrest may be made on any day or at any time of the day or night.
Art. 15.24. WHAT FORCE MAY BE USED. In making an arrest, all reasonable means are permitted to be used to effect it. No greater force, however, shall be resorted to than is necessary to secure the arrest and detention of the accused.
Art. 15.25. MAY BREAK DOOR. In case of felony, the officer may break down the door of any house for the purpose of making an arrest, if he be refused admittance after giving notice of his authority and purpose.
 

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One of our guys is on the U.S. Marshall task force. He came in and was discussing either something they had gone over or was their policy. Either way, I'd like to see how your dept would handle it.

He was saying that if you go to a third person residence with a warrant and see your offender in the window. If you are denied entry from the resident who lives there then a search warrant needs to be obtained to make entry and make an arrest. That the third party still has their 4 th amendment rights. This is absent exigencies circumstances or hot pursuit. I'm referring to a warrant where that address isn't on the warrant. Same as seeing a pot plant in the window.

So I asked if you know the guy is there and have relayed that to the homeowner then any action they take obstructing that arrest would be a charge. Since that is something happening in your presence one could enter to take the resident for resisting an arrest and since that entry was lawful then arrest the guy on the warrant.

So, how do you approach it?
That's news to me, we would never wait on a search warrant.
 

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If you have "eyes on" for a felony warrant, make entry even if refused. If occupant lies about the individual being there it's obstruction or hindering here. Misdemeanor warrants are probably gunna be up to the officer and depend on the charge. On the other hand if you personally haven't seen the offender in the residence...well you better get a warrant or a good lawyer.
 

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My job would 100% wait for a search warrant unless an exigent circumstance existed ie: danger to the homeowner.

Law is pretty clear that an arrest warrant allows entry into the wanted person's home...ONLY if the officer is certain that the subject is inside.

A third party home would be kosher only if the officer knew that the wanted person had established a permanent residence in the third party home...AND was certain that the wanted person was inside.

Outside of those circumstances, a warrant is necessary.

Not sure where you guys work...in NY the case would likely come under fire and it would be a garunteed Fed civil rights lawsuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My job would 100% wait for a search warrant unless an exigent circumstance existed ie: danger to the homeowner.

Law is pretty clear that an arrest warrant allows entry into the wanted person's home...ONLY if the officer is certain that the subject is inside.

A third party home would be kosher only if the officer knew that the wanted person had established a permanent residence in the third party home...AND was certain that the wanted person was inside.

Outside of those circumstances, a warrant is necessary.

Not sure where you guys work...in NY the case would likely come under fire and it would be a garunteed Fed civil rights lawsuit.
Interesting. It seems this is the same thing he was being told which was opposite of the way we have traditionally done it.
 

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We would knock first, telling the wanted person to come out, then kick the door in if someone tried to prevent or delay entry.

If I have an arrest warrant, I don't need a search warrant.


Sniff
 

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I can't remember the wording but you can enter a residence without effective consent for a person you have good reason to believe is inside even if it is a misdemeanor traffic warrant. You just have to have good reason to believe that person is in there and the warrant(s) has to be based on probable cause and signed by a magistrate

The only caveat is that I don't know if that goes for a 3rd party residence. I've been out of our Warrants Office for about a year now so I'm not on top of that information at this time.
 

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Third party residence you need a search warrant to enter. And you need PC they are inside to get it. Otherwise you have violated the home owners civil rights and anything you find inside is inadmissible.

The person you have the arrest warrant for cant sue you but the home owner can. Secure the house by surrounding it, get the search warrant and then arrest everyone inside.
 

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My agency, here in CA, would handle it the same as the US Marshalls.

Steagald v United States is the case they were referring to. To enter the 3rd parties residence, to make the arrest of the "guest", you will need a warrant to enter the residence. As for the resident refusing your entry, Ramey/Payton covers arresting someone from inside their own home(castle).

Happy hunting!
 

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I'm a little surprised that LEOs are thinking that state law trumps the US Constitution. This is settled at SCOTUS: absent a recognized exigency, or other exception (consent) you are required to have a search warrant for a third party residence in addition to your original arrest warrant.

See Steagald v US. See Minnesota v Olson. You can't be going in to my home to get Johnny Badboy. It's settled law, guys.

Now can you charge me with hindering, harboring or obstructing? Sure, just meet the elements of your state's law.
 

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I'm a little surprised that LEOs are thinking that state law trumps the US Constitution. This is settled at SCOTUS: absent a recognized exigency, or other exception (consent) you are required to have a search warrant for a third party residence in addition to your original arrest warrant.

See Steagald v US. See Minnesota v Olson. You can't be going in to my home to get Johnny Badboy. It's settled law, guys.

Now can you charge me with hindering, harboring or obstructing? Sure, just meet the elements of your state's law.
As Sam said it's been settled law since the constitution, barring permission from the homeowner, ( I would be Really Careful with exigency if you have time to think about it exigency won't apply) a Search warrant is needed.

And yes I am surprised I still have cops trying to work around this.
 

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We would knock first, telling the wanted person to come out, then kick the door in if someone tried to prevent or delay entry.

If I have an arrest warrant, I don't need a search warrant.


Sniff
You are very lucky to have a job and not have been sued to the point of no assets. please look at the cases cited.
 

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I'm a little surprised that LEOs are thinking that state law trumps the US Constitution. This is settled at SCOTUS: absent a recognized exigency, or other exception (consent) you are required to have a search warrant for a third party residence in addition to your original arrest warrant.

See Steagald v US. See Minnesota v Olson. You can't be going in to my home to get Johnny Badboy. It's settled law, guys.

Now can you charge me with hindering, harboring or obstructing? Sure, just meet the elements of your state's law.

I was up to date current on all of this 2 years ago going into our Warrants Office. We'd be updated by e-mail and during briefings, and a quick search shows there haven't been any significant changes
I can't remember the wording but you can enter a residence without effective consent for a person you have good reason to believe is inside even if it is a misdemeanor traffic warrant. You just have to have good reason to believe that person is in there and the warrant(s) has to be based on probable cause and signed by a magistrate

The only caveat is that I don't know if that goes for a 3rd party residence. I've been out of our Warrants Office for about a year now so I'm not on top of that information at this time.
A quick search still shows as others are saying, get a warrant and you can't lose.

We still have boneheads over the years do some crazy things executing warrants. Many were saved from getting in trouble by the subject or resident not knowing their rights. Good faith goes only goes so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steagald_v._United_States

http://www.4lawschool.com/criminal/olson.htm

It is very clear.... short of exigent circumstances. ...... you better have a warrant prior to entering a third party residence. These two cases were discussed at length in search and seizure class back while I was at the Academy and I still remember them clearly. Disregard them and prepare for a 42 USC 1983 case against you.
I think "warrant" causes some of the confusion. " Do you have a warrant"? does not mean any warrant but a search warrant in particular.
 

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I'm a little surprised that LEOs are thinking that state law trumps the US Constitution. This is settled at SCOTUS: absent a recognized exigency, or other exception (consent) you are required to have a search warrant for a third party residence in addition to your original arrest warrant.

See Steagald v US. See Minnesota v Olson. You can't be going in to my home to get Johnny Badboy. It's settled law, guys.

Now can you charge me with hindering, harboring or obstructing? Sure, just meet the elements of your state's law.
Harboring I can see, but you're not saying that insisting on a warrant, essentially just exercising your rights, might subject you to obstruction or hindering? Wouldn't there have to be more than just that to justify charging?

How might one prevent joinder in that situation? ;)

Randy
 

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Harboring I can see, but you're not saying that insisting on a warrant, essentially just exercising your rights, might subject you to obstruction or hindering? Wouldn't there have to be more than just that to justify charging?

Randy
I think that, if an officer can see the fugitive in the residence, and communicates to the homeowner that said fugitive is indeed wanted on some type of warrant - if the homeowner refuses to grant entry for the sole purpose of removing the fugitive from the home, then yeah - that's a good case for hindering/harboring/whatever it's called in your state.

Keep in mind, the homeowner has several options in this scenario. Pushing the fugitive out of the home is one. Allowing the officers carte blanche to search is another. Limiting the search to certain areas is yet another.

What would a reasonable person do? That's what the homeowner will have to answer for, in court. And, I'd bet the courts will rule - if they haven't yet already in some jurisdiction - that a reasonable person would, after being made aware there was a fugitive known to be in their residence, either allow entry or toss the clown out on his head. Anything else doesn't really meet the standard of "reasonable".
 
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