Fernandez v. California
February 25, 2014
Case #: 12-7822
ALITO, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, and BREYER, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., and THOMAS, J., filed concurring opinions. GINSBURG, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SOTOMAYOR and KAGAN, JJ., joined.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-7822_he4l.pdf
Criminal Procedure: An objecting occupant does not have the Fourth Amendment right to suspend all searches of a residence when another occupant consents to the search. The objecting occupant must be at the residence to assert their Fourth Amendment right.
Petitioner ran into an apartment after committing armed robbery. Police knocked on the window and a co-occupant of the apartment answered. Additionally, Petitioner came to the door and stated, "You do not have any right to come in here. I know my rights." The police arrested petitioner and transported him to the police station; police subsequently obtained consent from the co-occupant to search the apartment. The search produced evidence of the armed robbery.
In Georgia v Randolph, the court held that a co-occupant's consent to a search is insufficient when another co-occupant objects to the search and is present to make that objection.
The Supreme Court held that the exception laid out in Georgia v Randolph does not apply in this case because once the co-occupant was removed from the residence, the other occupant had the right to have police search the home for contraband. The objecting occupant does not have the Fourth Amendment right to suspend all searches of the residence when another occupant consents to a search. The objecting occupant must be present at the residence to assert that right.