Just a quick question for those who certainly know more about this subject than me. Are our fourth and fifth amendment rights suspended during a situation like in Boston when they are doing a door to door search? Personally, I would not have let the cops into my house unless they had a warrant. Nor do I answer questions from cops without representation present.

21 thoughts on “Rights”

  1. It currently has less than a 2% refund rate which means for every 100 people only 2 people request a refund. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Washington Institute of Natural Medicine at (202) 237-7681. Also like many single parents, Sebastiao is hoping to share the bills with her former spouse. Yet again, new advances and engineering make these procedures rapid and helpful, and this cuts down on the value tremendously. And just think how great you’ll look and feel when you are consistently doing 100 ab exercises a day.

  2. There are no exceptions to Amendments IV and V except the Grand Jury may be bypassed for members of the military during times of war or public danger. Each state, however, has it’s own statutes government a “state of emergency” I looked up the law in Massachusetts and found:

    “There is a misconception that various restrictions or bans automatically are triggered when there is a Gubernatorial State of Emergency in place. This is not so. The declaration of a State of Emergency does not in itself affect the operation of private enterprise. Travel is not automatically banned; businesses and schools are not automatically closed. Many businesses do have contractual agreements with their employees regarding who does/does not have to report to work when a Gubernatorial State of Emergency is issued.

    A SOE may be accompanied by a request by the Governor to stay off the roads, to release employees early, or to stagger arrival at work, in order to promote public safety. Such actions, however, are usually in the form of a request, not an order. In extreme circumstances, the Governor, as part of his SOE, may order roads be closed to all but emergency traffic, restricting normal travel, such as occurred during and immediately following the Blizzard of ’78 and during the Blizzard of 2013.”

    Source: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema/what-is-a-gubernatorial-state-of-emergency.html

    Disclaimer: IANAFL

  3. Dan, I was thinking the same thing this afternoon after looking at some of the coverage of this awful event. Without a warrant or representation? I don’t think I could stand back and invite ’em in.

    Practically speaking, I keep my doors locked always, so no one can sneak into my cellar or such, so I would KNOW there was no one in the house a LEO would be looking for. They could snoop around outside all they want. I guess they don’t look under boat covers, though.

    Susan Lee

  4. There is a short discussion of this question at the Volokh Conspiracy: http://www.volokh.com/2013/04/19/house-to-house-searches-and-the-fourth-amendment/. If your house was searched against your will, and if the search was found to be not reasonable under the circumstances, then you might bring a case for money damages. That case might well fail in the face of qualified immunity. The more interesting case would involve your being prosecuted for criminal activity that was discovered during the search. None of this amounts to suspending the 4th amendment.

  5. I do believe those Yankee bluesuits figured that most folks would let them in, the ones that didn’t well, they’d go in anyway. What can you do? You can’t shoot them without getting your whole family killed and your home called a “compound” in the media.

    If they go in and find nothing, well, then they’re gone and what do you do? File suit? Expensive and little chance of a payoff.and sovreign immunity means that it’d be very difficult to take action of the people giving the orders.

  6. @Peter, this is the lines of my thinking. I was just curious if under this type of situation that the state can basically do whatever they want to your property. Sure they will anyways, but is it legal?

  7. As a slightly aside issue, Volokh’s also got a post about Miranda rights. People tend to think the Miranda warning is an automatic requirement for all arrests & failure to give the warning scotches the prosecution. TV & movie dramas reinforce that belief.

    However Miranda rights only become an issue if the prosecution seeks to introduce into evidence incriminating statements made by the accused to police or prosecutors while detained or under arrest. Simply stated (and ignoring many ins and outs) the law is that if such statements are made in absence of the Miranda warning, they can’t be used.

    But that doesn’t mean the accused can’t be prosecuted. He can still be convicted on the basis of other evidence – witnesses, circumstantial, video, whatever.

    Prosecutors routinely oppose defense motions to suppress in-custody statements made by the defendant, no matter how blatant the failure to advise the accused of his Miranda rights. However I did defend two criminal prosecutions where my clients had blabbed all sorts of stuff after being arrested & interrogated w/o a Miranda warning. The Prosecutors in those cases did not oppose my motion to suppress my clients’ statements because they had a mountain of other evidence to convict them with. That’s rare, though, usually prosecutors will make at least a pro forma argument in opposition.

  8. I strongly suspect that, given the circumstances, the police would assume that you were refusing under duress and force an entry and search. To be blunt, I would. But I’m also considering the bombing was an act of war, the manhunt for the bombers was a continuation of that action, and that yes, there has been, is, and always will be some suspension of our rights during time of war.

    As discussed above, they couldn’t use anything they found against you.

  9. Just to set a public record straight here:

    The burden that the police must meet to enter your home without your consent doesn’t change depending on how important the police consider their need for entry to be. There is a list of exceptions to the warrant requirement; you just need to see if your situation fits into one of those exceptions.

    The most likely exception that might apply here is the “exigent circumstances” situation. That is, “Those circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry (or other relevant prompt action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of a suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts.” (A legal citation would normally go here, but no one’s paying me, so . . . )

    Sounds as if it might apply, right? But wait – there’s a hitch: this has been allowed as a reason for a warrantless search of a dwelling generally when there is just one single, specific, defined dwelling at issue. I would guess that someone attempting to have it applied to an entire city would fail. A police force could just start issuing hourly “emergency” bulletins about some crime or other, and then use that to provide a constant justification for searching wherever they desired. For the children.

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