CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, June 17, 2007

California Supreme Court Upholds Knock and Talk Rule

From SignOnSan The California State Supreme Court decided yesterday that police don't have to corroborate information from an anonymous tip before asking a homeowner's permission to search a residence.

The unanimous decision stems from a January 2004 arrest of an Oceanside man, Juan Rivera, and centers on a common police tactic known as “knock and talk.”

That is where police go to a home, knock on the door and ask the residents if they can come in and conduct a search. If consent is given, police don't have to obtain a search warrant. Also, it allows them to act on anonymous information without first confirming it.

The Supreme Court ruling is believed to be the first time the high court has formally said that the “knock and talk” technique doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment as long as the homeowner allows police in.

Federal courts and some lower state courts have come to the same conclusion, but Rivera's case is the first time the California Supreme Court addressed the issue.  Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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