Kentucky v. King (2011) No. 09-1272 Supreme Court of the U.S.

The Kentucky v. King Case served as a test of police-created exigent conditions. According to the Fourth Amendment, police can access a house without a warrant in an emergency. However, when they fabricate an emergency situation, the police cannot excuse a search without a warrant. (Dery, 2012). The test was created in Justice Alito's ruling, which states that as long as the authorities are acting in a way that does not violate or pose a threat to violate the Fourth Amendment, police conduct responses that emanate from inside a home which can be taken as consisting in the exigent circumstance is not part of the created exigent situation (Dery, 2012).

In this case, there is the fact that the police were in pursuit of a suspect and once inside a building the smelled marijuana from the defendants apartment. In addition, there were suspicious noises heard after they knocked on the door. The ruling did not mean that the police can knock randomly on doors and burst in once they hear noises. Rather they must have a probable cause for doing so and believe without doubt that there are criminal activities on-going (Dery, 2012). The ruling in the case protects sensible citizens who know how to conduct themselves in the event that police knock on their doors.

United States v. Correa (2011) No.10-2199 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Correa in the case contended that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the police entered and seized him in the common spaces of the multi unit apartment that was locked. Thus he argued that his statements and firearm ought to be suppressed as they resulted from unlawful seizure. His motion for suppression was denied since the actions of the police did not violate his Fourth Amendment Rights. According to the United States v. Acosta, 3rd Cir. 1992, a person who resides in an apartment with common areas does not have an objective reason to expect privacy in the common areas. According to Kerr (2012) a defendant's capacity to cite or claim protection of the Fourth Amendment is dependent on whether he or she has lawful privacy expectation while in the invaded area.

With regards to Correa's case, he lacked an objective reason to expect privacy in the common areas and, therefore, his standing to challenge infringement of his right was insufficient. Residents of apartments having many units lack an objective reason to expect privacy when in the shared areas of the building when the exterior door is locked. Moreover, Correa lacked sufficient reason to expect privacy in the common areas since he did not have control over the said areas. The residents of the apartment could admit other people, guests, repairmen, delivery people, custodians, and postal carriers, into the shared areas and thus could be considered a public area. Additionally the primary reason for the locked door was to ensure security for all occupants and not privacy in the shared spaces. Finally, the residents of the apartment have reason to expect police protection while in the shared areas. Given the range of people who have access to the shared places f the building and Correa's inability to have control of the sections, he had no reason to expect privacy beyond his room's entrance.

United States v. Buford (2011) No.09-5737 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Buford after his arrest and confiscation of a gun from underneath his car's passenger's seat argued that the primary reason for his arrest was violation of his probation and the car search was not related to the cause of his arrest and, therefore, was not within reasonable expectations and any evidence related to that was violation of his right.

The Fourth Amendment provides protects people against unreasonable seizures and searches by providing:

"The privilege of the general population to be secure in their people, houses, papers, and impacts, against absurd quests and seizures, might not be disregarded, and no warrants should issue, but rather upon reasonable justification, bolstered by pledge or attestations and especially depicting the place to be looked, and the people or things to be seized" (LaFave, 1978)

However, there are exceptions to the case. When police make an arrest, they are obliged to make a search the arrested and the surrounding area without obtaining a warrant. This is justified so the police can eliminate any weapons that the arrested can use to resist arrest or facilitate his escape. Nevertheless, at the time of the arrest, Buford and his companion were protected and, therefore, were not in a position to reach passenger compartment to reach for the gun at the time they were being searched. Moreover, at the time Buford was arrested due to probation issues and, so, the search for his vehicle was conducted against his constitutional rights.

Cochran v. Gilliam (2011) No.10-6274 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Cochran had leased a house from landlords, Mr. and Mrs. Williams and after falling behind in payments, the landlords filed a Forcible Detainer Complaint where the judge ruled Cochran guilty and eviction was scheduled. Three deputies sheriffs Dan, Gilliam, and another accompanied the landlords to Cochran's house for the eviction process.

According to Clancy (2008), during repossession, the police presence is expected to be only for provision and surety of order and peace and not to encourage or direct the process. In the Cochlan v. Gilliam case, the law enforcers were directly involved and took an active role in the eviction and, consequently, were not entitled to immunity (Lifshitz, 2010). While Gilliam involvement initially seemed like playing a civil role of keeping peace, their actions resulted into active participation in the process thus resulting into violation of Cochran's rights.


Clancy, T. K. (2008). The Fourth Amendment: Its History and Interpretation. Carolina Academic Press.

Dery, G. (2012). Expedient Knocks and Cowering Citizens: The Supreme Court Enables Police to Manufacture Emergencies by Pounding on Doors at Will in Kentucky v. King. Berkeley J. Crim. L., 17, 225.

Kerr, O. S. (2012). The mosaic theory of the fourth amendment.

Lifshitz, T. J. (2010). Arguable Probable Cause: An Unwarranted Approach to Qualified Immunity. U. Miami L. Rev., 65, 1159.

LaFave, W. R. (1978). Search and Seizure.

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