Supreme Courts Restricts Police Authority To Search Homes Without Warrants

The United States Supreme Court has voted unanimously to restrict law enforcement officer's ability to search homes without a warrant.

The Supreme Court's decision pertains to a case involving a couple named Edward and Kim Cinaglia. Kim Cinaglia alleges that things escalated when Edward Cinaglia asked him to take a gun from their house and shoot him. From there, Edward Cinaglia left their home in a frustrated and volatile state. She also left the home and stayed in a motel, but she hid his gun before she left. One day later, Kim attempted to contact Edward, but he did not answer. In response, she asked the police to escort her home because she was fearful he may have hurt himself. After arriving, police officers found Edward and sent him for a psychological evaluation. While he was being evaluated, officers searched his home and confiscated his weapons.

Edward did not stop pursuing the matter after he was released from his psychological evaluation. After learning that his weapons had been confiscated without a search warrant, he sued the police. Along the way to the Supreme Court, lower courts sided with the police and decided that the search was permitted by the caretaking exception of the Constitution's warrant requirement. However, Edward pushed his case to the Supreme Court and earned a victory in the nation's highest legal playing field.

"The very core of the Fourth Amendment's guarantee is the right of a person to retreat into his or her home and 'there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion,' " Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a ruling.

"[There is a] recognition that police officers perform many civic tasks in modern society was just that — a recognition that these tasks exist, and not an open-ended license to perform them anywhere."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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