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CALIFORNIA COURT ANNOUNCES NEW “KNOCK AND TALK” DOCTRINE: THE FOURTH AMENDMENT SHRINKS AGAIN

21
Oct

The California Supreme Court resolved one issue in this strange case earlier this year. (See, Rivera, 41 Cal.4th 304.) But other issues were left undecided. The Court resolves them here.
FACTS: There was an anonymous tip that the defendant was at a home. The police didn’t corroborate the tip, went to the home, got consent to enter from the homeowner (not the defendant), and found the defendant in a small shed in the backyard.
The police asked the defendant his name. They asked if he had any weapons. The defendant said he had a knife under his clothing. Smart, really smart!
The Supremes had held that the police don’t have to corroborate an anonymous tip to approach a residence and ask for consent to search. This is the new “knock and talk” doctrine.
So, what’s leftt? The Court rejects the argument that the police have to advise persons in the residence that they are free to decline to speak to the police. The Court rules that the police were lawfully in the backyard. They rule that looking inside the shed didn’t violate the defendant’s privacy. They say the police questions weren’t an interrogation and the defendant could have declined to answer (yeah, right!).
People v. Rivera; 2007 DJ DAR 15829; DJ, 10/17/07; C/A 4th

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