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warrant predicated on a landlord's illegal entry?

On Lawyer & Legal » criminal law & procedure

16,779 words with 7 Comments; publish: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 12:47:00 GMT; (800156.25, « »)

Hi All,

This one has kept me wondering. If a presumably suspicious landlord and

landlord-sanctioned repair personnel illegally enters one of his/her units

(a non-emergency entry without advance notice), discovers something illegal

and contacts the police, can a search and/or arrest warrant be issued to law

enforcement based on this landlord's illegal eyewitness entry?

In the state of California a landlord is not allowed to consent to a

voluntary search so long as the unit in question is not abandoned. Renting a

home means that the tenant has bought, for a time, the exclusive right to

possess that home. The landlord has legal title and the tenant has a form of

possessor title to the property. That means the tenant has the exclusive

right of possession of the home. Thus, people can not enter without special

permission or statutory authority to do so.

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  • 7 Comments
    • On Thu, 18 Dec 2003 02:27:03 -0600, Richard <anonymous.criminallaw.todaysummary.com.127.000> wrote: The state has already denied the landlord "at will" entry. It is therefor trespassing. Unless the evidence was observed during an "emergency" situation. If the landlord's actions are illegal, how can the property be searched with a warrant on his say so?

      I see how you've earned your reputation. One post at a time.

      In "Dirty Harry", Harry busted into the sniper's living quarters and found the weapon. A federal judge stated that the weapon would probably be dismissed because it was obtained without a proper search warrant.

      Unlike the landlord, Harry was a policeman. The police are subject to the

      4th Amendment. Your landlord is not. That's the difference.

      Your theory about the cops busting you and being unable to bust the drug

      dealer is just plain asinine. The cops are more than happy to use the

      information that one criminal gives to bust yet another criminal. That's

      done all of the time.

      Isaac

      #1; Thu, 18 Dec 2003 05:30:00 GMT
    • On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 10:44:28 -0600, Richard <anonymous.criminallaw.todaysummary.com.127.000> wrote: Isaac wrote: On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 19:38:58 -0600, Richard <anonymous.criminallaw.todaysummary.com.127.000> wrote: Bill Brasky wrote:> Hi All,> This one has kept me wondering. If a presumably suspicious landlord> and landlord-sanctioned repair personnel illegally enters one of>his/her units (a non-emergency entry without advance notice), discovers>something illegal and contacts the police, can a search and/or arrest>warrant be issued to law enforcement based on this landlord's illegal>eyewitness entry?> In the state of California a landlord is not allowed to consent to a> voluntary search so long as the unit in question is not abandoned.> Renting a home means that the tenant has bought, for a time, the> exclusive right to possess that home. The landlord has legal title and> the tenant has a form of possessor title to the property. That means> the tenant has the exclusive right of possession of the home. Thus,>people can not enter without special permission or statutory authority>to do so. Probably not. In this case the landlord is a 3rd party so to say. A judge would be reluctant to sign such a warrant without having firsthave some better idea as to what is illegal or not. The well intentionedlandlord could be totally wrong on his perception of the scene. Thelandlord should simply contact the police, show them what he found, thenlet the police handle it entirely. The landlord is not the police and doesn't represent the state and was not talked into entering the apartment by the state. Thus there are no 4th amendment implications with the landlord's illegal entry. The police are going to evaluate the landlord's tip and apply for a warrant just as they would if some stoolie gave the information. The relevant questions will be is the information reliable, and based on the information is there probable cause that the police will find a specific contraband or evidence of a crime at the specified location at the specified time. On the facts the OP gave, it looks like a slam dunk to get a magistrate to issue the warrant. Isaac Trespassing sir. The landlord has no legal right to enter the property after it's been rented and occupied.

      The landlord's actions are illegal, but that illegality doesn't implicate

      the 4th Amendment unless the state does it or motivates the landlord to do

      it. In the hypothetical, the landlord entered for reasons of his own and

      then went to the police.

      This is simple, criminal law textbook level stuff. While you may not like

      the answer, it isn't the least bit controversial.

      Isaac

      #2; Wed, 17 Dec 2003 13:22:00 GMT
    • "Isaac" <isaac.criminallaw.todaysummary.com.latveria.castledoom.org> wrote in message

      news:slrnbu3avo.nh.isaac.criminallaw.todaysummary.com.latveria.castledoom.org.. .

      <snip> I see how you've earned your reputation. One post at a time.

      You've noticed that too?

      In "Dirty Harry", Harry busted into the sniper's living quarters and

      found the weapon. A federal judge stated that the weapon would probably be dismissed

      because it was obtained without a proper search warrant.

      Actually, he gets most of his legal advice from television shows. He is

      pretty consistent with "CHIPS" as a legal reference tool

      Unlike the landlord, Harry was a policeman. The police are subject to the 4th Amendment. Your landlord is not. That's the difference. Your theory about the cops busting you and being unable to bust the drug dealer is just plain asinine. The cops are more than happy to use the information that one criminal gives to bust yet another criminal. That's done all of the time.

      I believe in just about any precinct station, it's called, "Let's Make A

      Deal."

      Isaac

      #3; Wed, 31 Dec 2003 02:26:00 GMT
    • Isaac wrote:

      On Wed, 17 Dec 2003 10:44:28 -0600, Richard <anonymous.criminallaw.todaysummary.com.127.000> wrote: Isaac wrote: On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 19:38:58 -0600, Richard <anonymous.criminallaw.todaysummary.com.127.000> wrote:> Bill Brasky wrote:>>> Hi All,>> This one has kept me wondering. If a presumably suspicious>> landlord and landlord-sanctioned repair personnel illegally enters>>one of his/her units (a non-emergency entry without advance notice),>discovers something illegal and contacts the police, can a search>and/or arrest warrant be issued to law enforcement based on this>landlord's illegal eyewitness entry?>>> In the state of California a landlord is not allowed to consent to>> a voluntary search so long as the unit in question is not>>abandoned. Renting a home means that the tenant has bought, for a>>time, the exclusive right to possess that home. The landlord has>>legal title and the tenant has a form of possessor title to the>>property. That means the tenant has the exclusive right of>>possession of the home. Thus, people can not enter without special>permission or statutory authority to do so.>>> Probably not. In this case the landlord is a 3rd party so to say. A> judge would be reluctant to sign such a warrant without having first>have some better idea as to what is illegal or not. The well>intentioned landlord could be totally wrong on his perception of thescene. The landlord should simply contact the police, show them what hefound, then let the police handle it entirely. The landlord is not the police and doesn't represent the state and was not talked into entering the apartment by the state. Thus there are no 4th amendment implications with the landlord's illegal entry. The police are going to evaluate the landlord's tip and apply for a warrant just as they would if some stoolie gave the information. The relevant questions will be is the information reliable, and based on the information is there probable cause that the police will find aspecific contraband or evidence of a crime at the specified location atthe specified time. On the facts the OP gave, it looks like a slamdunk to get a magistrate to issue the warrant. Isaac Trespassing sir. The landlord has no legal right to enter the property after it's been rented and occupied.

      The landlord's actions are illegal, but that illegality doesn't implicate the 4th Amendment unless the state does it or motivates the landlord to do it. In the hypothetical, the landlord entered for reasons of his own and then went to the police.

      This is simple, criminal law textbook level stuff. While you may not like the answer, it isn't the least bit controversial.

      Isaac

      The state has already denied the landlord "at will" entry. It is therefor

      trespassing.

      Unless the evidence was observed during an "emergency" situation.

      If the landlord's actions are illegal, how can the property be searched with

      a warrant on his say so?

      In "Dirty Harry", Harry busted into the sniper's living quarters and found

      the weapon.

      A federal judge stated that the weapon would probably be dismissed because

      it was obtained without a proper search warrant.

      You know a person to be dealing in drugs. You buy a "bag" from the dealer

      and take it to the cops as evidence.

      Who gets busted? You do. Why? Possession.

      The proper way to handle the situation would be to take your observations to

      the police and let them do a proper investigation.

      Recently, someone posted a similar situation or I had read somewhere, where

      during a visit to the house of an injured party, the police noticed certain

      illegal items in the house. Instead of busting the owner on the spot, they

      sat on the house and got a search warrant. Then they went in, confiscated

      the illegal items and busted the person.

      That is the way to handle that situation.

      #4; Thu, 18 Dec 2003 00:27:00 GMT
    • Bill Brasky wrote:

      Hi All, This one has kept me wondering. If a presumably suspicious landlord and landlord-sanctioned repair personnel illegally enters one of his/her units (a non-emergency entry without advance notice), discovers something illegal and contacts the police, can a search and/or arrest warrant be issued to law enforcement based on this landlord's illegal eyewitness entry?

      In the state of California a landlord is not allowed to consent to a voluntary search so long as the unit in question is not abandoned. Renting a home means that the tenant has bought, for a time, the exclusive right to possess that home. The landlord has legal title and the tenant has a form of possessor title to the property. That means the tenant has the exclusive right of possession of the home. Thus, people can not enter without special permission or statutory authority to do so.

      Probably not. In this case the landlord is a 3rd party so to say. A judge

      would be reluctant to sign such a warrant without having first have some

      better idea as to what is illegal or not. The well intentioned landlord

      could be totally wrong on his perception of the scene.

      The landlord should simply contact the police, show them what he found, then

      let the police handle it entirely.

      However, the search warrant could be invalidated on the premise that the

      warrant was obtained by the fact that the landlord, and police were

      trespassing when there was no emergency.

      Legal advice means to hire the services of an attorney.

      I do not give legal advice.

      #5; Tue, 16 Dec 2003 17:38:00 GMT
    • Isaac wrote:

      On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 19:38:58 -0600, Richard <anonymous.criminallaw.todaysummary.com.127.000> wrote: Bill Brasky wrote: Hi All, This one has kept me wondering. If a presumably suspicious landlord and landlord-sanctioned repair personnel illegally enters one ofhis/her units (a non-emergency entry without advance notice), discoverssomething illegal and contacts the police, can a search and/or arrestwarrant be issued to law enforcement based on this landlord's illegaleyewitness entry? In the state of California a landlord is not allowed to consent to a voluntary search so long as the unit in question is not abandoned. Renting a home means that the tenant has bought, for a time, the exclusive right to possess that home. The landlord has legal title and the tenant has a form of possessor title to the property. That means the tenant has the exclusive right of possession of the home. Thus,people can not enter without special permission or statutory authorityto do so. Probably not. In this case the landlord is a 3rd party so to say. A judge would be reluctant to sign such a warrant without having firsthave some better idea as to what is illegal or not. The well intentionedlandlord could be totally wrong on his perception of the scene. Thelandlord should simply contact the police, show them what he found, thenlet the police handle it entirely.

      The landlord is not the police and doesn't represent the state and was not talked into entering the apartment by the state. Thus there are no 4th amendment implications with the landlord's illegal entry.

      The police are going to evaluate the landlord's tip and apply for a warrant just as they would if some stoolie gave the information. The relevant questions will be is the information reliable, and based on the information is there probable cause that the police will find a specific contraband or evidence of a crime at the specified location at the specified time. On the facts the OP gave, it looks like a slam dunk to get a magistrate to issue the warrant.

      Isaac

      Trespassing sir. The landlord has no legal right to enter the property after

      it's been rented and occupied.

      This is due to the fact that many women were raped in their own home by

      their landlord simply because the guy had a key.

      As the tenant, you have the right to change the lock on the door. It is your

      property.

      I lived in an apartment and was told by one resident that a girl living by

      herself had her refrigerator go out on her.

      The landlord came over, took a look. The next day, after taking a nap in the

      bedroom, she found a brand new refrigerator in the apartment. She moved.

      Unless it is an absolute life threatening emergency, the landlord may not

      enter the premises without notice or permission.

      However, had the landlord been invited into the apartment at which time

      possible illegal items were seen, then that would be sufficient cause for a

      warrant.

      Or, if the landlord was outside of the apartment and looked through a

      window, observing said items, then that is a different situation and a

      warrant could be issued.

      But not because he just walked in on his own.

      #6; Wed, 17 Dec 2003 08:44:00 GMT
    • On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 19:38:58 -0600, Richard <anonymous.criminallaw.todaysummary.com.127.000> wrote: Bill Brasky wrote: Hi All, This one has kept me wondering. If a presumably suspicious landlord and landlord-sanctioned repair personnel illegally enters one of his/her units (a non-emergency entry without advance notice), discovers something illegal and contacts the police, can a search and/or arrest warrant be issued to law enforcement based on this landlord's illegal eyewitness entry? In the state of California a landlord is not allowed to consent to a voluntary search so long as the unit in question is not abandoned. Renting a home means that the tenant has bought, for a time, the exclusive right to possess that home. The landlord has legal title and the tenant has a form of possessor title to the property. That means the tenant has the exclusive right of possession of the home. Thus, people can not enter without special permission or statutory authority to do so. Probably not. In this case the landlord is a 3rd party so to say. A judge would be reluctant to sign such a warrant without having first have some better idea as to what is illegal or not. The well intentioned landlord could be totally wrong on his perception of the scene. The landlord should simply contact the police, show them what he found, then let the police handle it entirely.

      The landlord is not the police and doesn't represent the state and was not

      talked into entering the apartment by the state. Thus there are no 4th

      amendment implications with the landlord's illegal entry.

      The police are going to evaluate the landlord's tip and apply for a warrant

      just as they would if some stoolie gave the information. The relevant

      questions will be is the information reliable, and based on the information

      is there probable cause that the police will find a specific contraband or

      evidence of a crime at the specified location at the specified time. On

      the facts the OP gave, it looks like a slam dunk to get a magistrate to

      issue the warrant.

      Isaac

      #7; Tue, 16 Dec 2003 22:15:00 GMT