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  1. #1
    yellowflash is offline Junior Member
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    Can the police enter my home with arrest warrant for someone else?

    Hi, I'm from California

    Last night the police knocked on my door looking for my brothers girlfriend, because she used to spend the night here with him. Anyways, I told them that she didn't live here, but they wanted to go in and check, so I asked if they had a warrant and they said they had a warrant for her arrest. So i told them she wasn't here and don't want them entering my house. They forced themselves in anyways and searched my whole house, handcuffed me when I tried to get my phone, because someone was calling me, and even went through the numbers and tried to call her using my phone. I just wanted to know if it is legal for them to do all that with an arrest warrant, because I want to file a complaint, but don't know if it will do anything.
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Nothing in your post was illegal.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    yellowflash is offline Junior Member
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    So now that they have this arrest warrant for her, does it mean the cops can come to my home anytime they like and harass me and my family?
  4. #4
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowflash View Post
    I just wanted to know if it is legal for them to do all that with an arrest warrant, because I want to file a complaint, but don't know if it will do anything.
    It doesn't have to be anything 'illegal' for you to file a complaint. You were treated shabbily, or at least it feels that way to you. Tell them you think they treated you like human garbage, and that sure says something about the people they deal with all day. I love using that line in complaints to the police - it reads like a direct insult but it is really a backhanded compliment.

    At best someone will be mildly disciplined, at worst it will go instantly into the circular file.

    The probabilty of you being compensated in any way is nil.

    At least you will have the satisfaction of knowing you might have made someone angry and that is about the only tiny slice of revenge you get.

    Racial insults or accusations are tempting because they are certain to provoke anger, but increase the probablity of rapid circular filing.
  5. #5
    yellowflash is offline Junior Member
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    I'm not looking for compensation or anything, I just want to send them a message, so they know they can't just come here anytime they want and go through my things.
  6. #6
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowflash View Post
    I'm not looking for compensation or anything, I just want to send them a message, so they know they can't just come here anytime they want and go through my things.
    Are you or anyone in your household on probation/parole?
  7. #7
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowflash View Post
    I'm not looking for compensation or anything, I just want to send them a message, so they know they can't just come here anytime they want and go through my things.
    But, you've already been told they can
  8. #8
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    I think it is quite possible there was an illegal act. I agree you don't need illegality to file a complaint, and I would do so.

    The key issue is where is brother's girlfriend's (BG) home? You said she used to spend the night here with him. What does that mean? Does she live there or not?

    In California, the police cannot enter a third party's home to arrest a person on a warrant unless they get consent or a search warrant for the third party home as well. (Sometimes called a Steagald warrant after the Supreme Court case Steagald v. United states 451 U.S. 204.) I say California as Steagald has been focused and enhanced by state law cases.

    Was this a third party's home or BG's home? To enter a person's home on a warrant, the police must have probable cause to believe the person is there at the time. If the BG was a frequent overnight guest and had free reign when there, I think the home could be considered hers (for 4th amendment purposes). If she occaisionally came when invited by the brother and who had no key and had to leave when the brother left, maybe not. The totality of the circumstances would be what determines things.

    Bottom line, the police cannot simply enter because they have an arrest warrant. They must have probable cause (in California) to believe the target of the warrant is at the location at that time. If the target did not live at the house, a search warrrant is required to enter (or consent) as well.
  9. #9
    BoredAtty is offline Member
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    I agree with tranquility. Unless the police had probable cause to believe the arrestee was in the residence, they had no authority to enter without a search warrant or consent.

    You should complain.
  10. #10
    cyberspook is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowflash View Post
    Hi, I'm from California

    Last night the police knocked on my door looking for my brothers girlfriend, because she used to spend the night here with him. Anyways, I told them that she didn't live here, but they wanted to go in and check, so I asked if they had a warrant and they said they had a warrant for her arrest. So i told them she wasn't here and don't want them entering my house. They forced themselves in anyways and searched my whole house, handcuffed me when I tried to get my phone, because someone was calling me, and even went through the numbers and tried to call her using my phone. I just wanted to know if it is legal for them to do all that with an arrest warrant, because I want to file a complaint, but don't know if it will do anything.
    If this is exactly what happened. I mean if you are not leaving anything out, then you have a case. Problem is: Is it your word against the police? See where I am going here???
  11. #11
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    I, too, concur with Tranq's analysis. However, I suspect that the officers had some reason to suspect that the subject of their warrant actually lived there. Unless they had some exigency to justify entry, they should have secured the premises and obtained a search warrant to enter the premises.

    You can always file a personnel complaint and see where it goes. If they had sufficient cause to believe she was a resident, then no harm. If there was not sufficient cause, then the officer will likely face some manner of discipline or re-training for their actions.

    In any event, you should not let this fugitive enter your home again.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  12. #12
    ckb
    ckb is offline Junior Member
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    Steagald

    Barring exigent circumstances unrelated to the "search" for the person wanted under the Ramey Warrant......
    A Steagald Warrant would appear to be required in this situation.
    However, I am not present and not familiar with the case. Usually, one persons point of view is, historically, just slgihtly more skewed than the other.

    Hope you get things figured out.

    C

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