Major Lesson Plan: Supreme Court 2006
Target Audience: Law Enforcement personnel who may be faced with the task of legal decisions relating to operations.
Objective: Provide officers with essential knowledge of the law as announced by the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2005-2006 term (NOTE: See previous issue for additional cases) .
Format: Roll-call/ supervisory training.
Time: Five to ten minutes, but this may be expanded where agency resources allow.
Materials: Law Enforcement Risk Management Legal Update.
Note: Officers should be encouraged to read the article in this update either before or after this roll-call training.
Hypothetical # 1:
Officers respond to a loud party call, believed to involve underage persons at a residence. The officers knock at the door, at which time the music is lowered but no one answered.
May the officers enter the home, on their own, under the exigent circumstance entry?
Answer #1: No-there is no facts supporting that there is danger to a person inside the home.
While the officers are waiting for a response to the door they see, through the uncovered front window, a physical scuffle in the living room.
May the officers enter under the exigent circumstance exception to the warrant requirement?
Answer #2 Yes, where an officer’s personal observations or reliable information would lead a reasonable officer to conclude that ongoing violence is occurring in a residence, officers may enter without a warrant under the exigency exception to the warrant requirement.
Are the officers required to knock and announce themselves when using the exigent entry exception?
Answer #3 Yes, unless one of the exceptions to the knock and announce rule apply, officers must knock and announce prior to entry.
Hypothetical # 4
Assuming the officers should have knocked and announced but failed to so; would subsequently discovered contraband from the house be admissible in a subsequent prosecution of people from the home for possession of the contraband?
Answer: Yes, the exclusionary rule does not apply to violations of the knock and announce rule, however officers are subject to civil liability for this violation as well as internal department discipline.