State v. Bonilla

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-03-2014
  • Case #: A153808
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Haselton, C.J. for the Court, with Duncan, P.J., and Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A third party’s actual authority to consent to search a residence does not extend to a search personal property, like a passenger’s rights against search of their personal belongings when a driver consents to a search of the vehicle.

Defendant appealed the trial court's denial of her motion to suppress evidence. Several Parole officers went to perform a home visit of a parolee, who lived in a garage apartment on Defendant’s brother’s property. Defendant shared a bedroom at her brother’s house. Defendant’s brother told the officers that the parolee and his girlfriend lived in the garage apartment, and led them to the garage. The officers asked for and obtained consent to search the bedroom of the apartment after finding marijuana in the living area. Officers then found the evidence at issue, a wooden box containing “snort tubes” and baggies with residue. Defendant’s mother, who consented to the search, said that the box and its contents belonged to Defendant, who shares the bedroom. Defendant argues that her brother did not have the authority to consent to a search of the garage apartment, and that defendant’s mother did not have the authority to consent to a search of her personal property, the wooden box. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence, and the jury found defendant guilty of possession of methamphetamine. Defendant appealed, reiterating her position at trial. The Court of Appeals held that the consents to search the apartment and bedroom were valid. On the search of the box, the Court reasoned that a third party’s actual authority to consent does not extend to a search personal property, like a passenger’s rights against search of their personal belongings when a driver consents to a search of the vehicle. Reversed and remanded.

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