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Alpo

Illegal search??

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If a non-cop does an illegal search, then goes and gets the cops and says, "Lemme show you what I found", would it be admissable?

 

IN THE BOOK the desk clerk becomes suspicious of the guest, and after he leaves she takes the pass key and goes and searches his room. Then she goes and gets a cop.

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In a word, . . . "No".  No established chain of custody or possession exists.

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Yes.  Unless the cops asked the non cop to search.  However, the cops would have to use the information to obtain a search warrant.  

 

Asking the non cop to search for them would render the evidence as "fruit of the poisoned tree".  

 

The 4th Amendment prohibits Governmental intrusion...not individual.  

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Let's not forget that the guest also has a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in their place of residence.  As it was explained to me, since the guest rents the room, to some extent, that is their place of residence.  If the clerk searched the room, then that was violated.  If the clerk walked in the room and saw something sitting in the open that they thought warranted police investigation (drugs, guns, large amounts of money), then it becomes a different story. 

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Rooms are expected to be cleaned-so the expectation of privacy is lower.  It is a fact driven determination.  In many jurisdictions the evidence would be thrown out, while in others it would be used.  And the rulings change over time, so what was okay in the book might have been okay at the time of the writing, but not now.

 

You should try and read something less challenging!

 

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I have used evidence obtained by a non law enforcement person before. In this case it was digital evidence. The court decided that the protection against unreasonable search and seizure was designed for protection against a government entity and in this case did not apply to a search by a private person. During my career I saw a number of 4th amendment questions flip flop due to court decisions, so sometimes it is hard to give hard and fast answers in the gray area types of questions.

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So if my maid, who comes here once a week, disobeys my instructions to NEVER GO IN THAT ROOM, and while I'm at work she sneaks a look in the door, and sees my hydroponic pot farm, I don't have anything to worry about? :huh::P

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1 minute ago, Alpo said:

So if my maid, who comes here once a week, disobeys my instructions to NEVER GO IN THAT ROOM, and while I'm at work she sneaks a look in the door, and sees my hydroponic pot farm, I don't have anything to worry about? :huh::P

I think we have already discussed how you can get rid of her body.

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10 minutes ago, Alpo said:

So if my maid, who comes here once a week, disobeys my instructions to NEVER GO IN THAT ROOM, and while I'm at work she sneaks a look in the door, and sees my hydroponic pot farm, I don't have anything to worry about? :huh::P

Maybe not in Colorado, Washington and Oregon?  But some court just ruled that police may NOT make an arrest using pot-sniffing dogs, unless there was probable cause to investigate a potential crime!  Now a lot of those poor pot-sniffing dogs may be out of work! :rolleyes:

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14 minutes ago, Trailrider #896 said:

Maybe not in Colorado, Washington and Oregon?  But some court just ruled that police may NOT make an arrest using pot-sniffing dogs, unless there was probable cause to investigate a potential crime!  Now a lot of those poor pot-sniffing dogs may be out of work! :rolleyes:

Pot sniffers are pretty much limited to schools and correctional institutions now.

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"Officer, that's not mine. The clerk obviously planted it as I did not greet him friendly enough, I guess...and by the way, if this discussion continues I am going to need legal council before we proceed any further. I think that the clerk is trying to railroad me."

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1 hour ago, Alpo said:

So if my maid, who comes here once a week, disobeys my instructions to NEVER GO IN THAT ROOM, and while I'm at work she sneaks a look in the door, and sees my hydroponic pot farm, I don't have anything to worry about? :huh::P

The 4th Amendment protects you only from government intrusion. The maid was not acting as a government agent you may (underline the word may) be prosecuted. If the maid did everything right, (like reporting to the police what she saw) they might be able to get a search warrant. There is no black and white in the search and seizure laws in the US. Lots of gray areas for the courts to interpret it the way it suits them (judges). Believe my Alpo in Amarillo Texas y'all would have reason to worry, OR, maybe get the heck out of dodge.

Oh yeah you can fire the maid if that makes you feel better.

 

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In Kansas City, Missouri Jackson county the clerk went into the room and found bomb making material along with Mid-Eastern garb, NO, the judge would not sign the search warrant. Now in Kansas City, Missouri Clay or Platte county the above situation would be a big YES. 

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Wonder what that judge was waiting for...for the bomb to go off under his chair?  :angry:

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People forget sometimes that many Constitutional prohibitions are there mostly to limit the actions of the government. Take, for instance, the First Amendment. It prohibits the government from stopping you from speaking freely. But if you violate guidelines her on the forums, SASS is within their rights to kick delete your comments, or kick you off the privately owned sight. But they could not prevent you from standing on public property or your own, and stating in no uncertain terms what you thought.

Same with Facebook and other social media. They aren't the government.

 

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Posted (edited)

Private searches that are in no way instigated or encouraged by public authorities do not violate the 4th Amendment.

 

If your maid violates your express instructions and finds your grow operation and reports it to the police, they can easily, and properly, get the warrant to search.

 

Again, the private invasion must be truly private and separate from the public authorities.

Edited by Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619

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Posted (edited)

Yes.  Admissible unless the clerk was acting as an agent of law enforcement.  The clerk may also have committed a criminal act, but the evidence would still be admissible.  Happens frequently.  A perfect example of this is mom goes into teenagers room and finds drugs turning them over to the police.  When talking about an expectation of privacy, we are talking about an expectation of privacy from government intrusion.

Edited by Sarge
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A private citizen calling in information to the police CAN be grounds for the police to get a warrant, but a lot will likely depend on the circumstances and reputation of the tipster.

 

A tip from Gladys Kravitz, being a known curtain snoop and busy-body with a reputation for unfounded and unprovable assertions, would probably have the judge tossing any police requesting a search warrant out on their ears, whereas a tip from Dr. Roy Hinkley would likely get a favorable nod from the judge.

 

The maid going into a hotel room is reasonable and routine; the person who has a grudge against someone and breaks into their house to find out if they're up to something is neither.

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