Saturday, November 2, 2013

Georgia v. Randolph case brief

Georgia v. Randolph case brief summary
547 U.S. 103 (2006)

Defendant's motion to suppress evidence of his cocaine use that was seized as a result of a warrantless search to which he explicitly did not consent, but to which his wife did consent, was initially denied, but the Supreme Court of Georgia sustained a reversal of the denial. Certiorari was granted on whether one occupant may give effective consent to search shared premises against a co-tenant who is present and refuses the search.

Police were called to a home for a domestic dispute. Defendant's wife told the police officers that defendant was a cocaine user and that there was evidence of such in the house. When asked for permission to search the house, defendant unequivocally refused. His wife, however, readily gave consent to search and led an officer to defendant's bedroom where a section of a drinking straw with a powdery residue was found. Further evidence of drug use was seized after obtaining a search warrant. Defendant was indicted for possession of cocaine.

  • The Court held that since the wife had no recognized authority in law or social practice to prevail over her husband, her disputed invitation, without more, gave police no better claim to reasonableness in entering than they would have had in the absence of any consent at all. 
  • The Court noted that disputed permission was no match for the central value of the Fourth Amendment, and the State's other countervailing claims did not add up to outweigh it. 
  • For example, police might lawfully enter over an objection in order to provide any protection that might be reasonable.


The judgment of the Supreme Court of Georgia was affirmed.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Evolution of Legal Marketing: From Billboards to Digital Leads Over the last couple of decades, the face of legal marketing has changed a l...