Wednesday, March 22, 2006

US Supreme Court Georgia v. Randolph 04-1067


   This decision isn't all that recent, but it's relevant to another case I'm about to discuss.

   This case was a custody dispute where Randolph's wife (hereinafter referred to as "a mad woman") informed the police that Randolph had cocaine in the house.  Randolph vehemently refused to consent to a search of the house, so the police asked his wife for consent.  She consented to the search, paraphernalia was found.  The mad woman withdrew her consent, the police got a warrant, more evidence was found, and Randolph was charged with possession of cocaine.

   The court held that the refusal of a present occupant of a house trumps the consent of another present occupant.  The decision also spells out that the police may not remove the objecting party from the house for the sake overcoming their objection to the search (it had to be said).  The evidence was suppressed.