State Supreme Court Rules That Cops Do Not Need Warrants To Enter Homes And Forcibly Seize Evidence

fourth1By Brianna Acuesta

In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court just killed the rights of citizens outlined in the Fourth Amendment by stating that police officers may enter a home, or parts of the home, without a warrant and can seize evidence to use in the arrest and prosecution of citizens.

The Fourth Amendment states that unreasonable searches and seizures are not allowed and that the only legally recognized search and seizure is one that is preceded by a warrant granted by courts. The warrant must be supported by probable cause.


The deciding vote was cast by Justice Rebecca Bradley who was appointed by Governor Scott Walker, a member of the Republican party. There has been skepticism surrounding this decision because Justice Bradley was not present for the oral arguments and instead listened to them later on a tape recording, stating that it was sufficient enough for her to make a decision.

The case that reached the Supreme Court and begged the question of whether officers have the right to search and seize without a warrant was the case of Charles Matalonis. After admitting that he had been in a fight with his brother, who the officers found bloodied in a nearby residence, Matalonis allowed the cops to come into his home. They saw blood, presumably from the fight, and cannabis before asking Matalonis to open a locked door in the house for them. After he refused, the cops broke the door down and found marijuana growing in the room. They then arrested and charged Matalonis with the manufacturing of marijuana.

Though the Court of Appeals initially ruled this search and seizure to be unconstitutional, the Supreme Court “found that the police were not investigating a crime but exercising their ‘community caretaker’ function by checking to make sure no other people were injured in the house.” The three Justices that challenged the decision stated that between arriving at the house and breaking down the door, 20 minutes had passed and there was no reason to suspect anyone else had been injured. There was, however, reason to suspect that more cannabis would be in the room and that is the real reason the officers unlawfully entered the room. Had the decision remained deadlocked at 3-3 before Justice Bradley was appointed, the Court of Appeals decision would have been final.

In regards to the new Justice, this has been a controversial start for her in the Supreme Court. When she arrived, there were five earlier cases that had been argued but hadn’t been decided and she chose to cast the deciding vote on this one. The Free Thought Project points out that,

An unelected judge appointed by a partisan politician cast a single vote, without being present during arguments, which effectively nullified the Fourth Amendment in that state.

These are serious but true allegations, and it paints a clear picture of what exactly this decision has done to the state. Because of this single vote, cops may now enter a person’s home without a warrant and search and seize evidence to arrest and use against a person in a court of law.

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  • bosunj

    Guillotines are the only rational response.

  • Brisa25

    Scalia wouldn’t have let this stand.

  • NobodysaysBOO

    This state will need lots of new cops. Home invasion is a crime and killing a “HOME INVADER” is SELF DEFENSE! NOT A CRIME! SO this is really a law against police and for the CRIMINAL CLASS.
    You just got to LOVE the politicians in the USA!

    • JimboBillyBob Justice

      sounds about right to me. If you got a warrant you got permission to search…no warrant means you are invading my home and I have the right to defend it…with your life if need be

      • Strawberry Garcia

        Can somebody help me out here, I do not see a problem with this, according to the article above “Matalonis allowed the cops to come into his home”

    • If Im ever on a jury in which the accused is accused of killing a coproach who invaded their home without a warrant Im voting Not Guilty

      • L O

        The problem with that plan, is the jury doesnt get to hear about that part, they cherry pick what evidence you get to hear. If a jury got to hear the hows and whys, most people would be acquitted because of their sleazy tactics…

        • Westcoastliberal

          Get made jury foreman, then instruct your peers on “Jury Nullification”.

    • MA Deuce

      Doubt they would do it while you`re at home. Guess this means the same for your vehicle,as well. Even the gestapo did the dreaded knock on the door.

  • Freedom

    Our President is the cause of this. He is a liberal parasite. He will be the downfall of America.

    • daniel lopez

      You’re a fool if you think that tyranny started just when Obama showed up.

      • vladilyich

        Gov Walker is Republican and beloved by the Tea Party.

  • michael lawless

    good bye wisconson

  • Mark Moore

    “Because of this single vote, cops may now enter a person’s home without a warrant and search and seize evidence to arrest and use against a person in a court of law.”

    I disagree. The police could always “enter a person’s home without a warrant and search and seize evidence to arrest and use against a person in a court of law” under the community caretaker doctrine. This case does not represent new law, only faulty or biased fact finding, i.e., “the police were not investigating a crime but exercising their ‘community caretaker’ function by checking to make sure no other people were injured in the house.”

    Thus, the Court allowed factual fiction to invoke a long recognized legal doctrine, a common tactic used in family court to trample father’s rights.

  • 9d9p

    Going to a war with posters demanding your rights is really stupid. There are no longer law makers or law enforcers. There are criminals that are clearly robbing and killing the general public and making it look official. This is why they want to outlaw guns. An armed and organized militia will easily out number the criminals and protect the Constitution. This was the intention of the founding fathers. But today people are afraid of guns, instead of learning how to use them. The country is crawling with cowards and imbeciles glued to their multimedia devices and therefore welcoming tyranny all over again.

    • Miko1971

      Fluoridated Water…

  • vladilyich

    Keep in mind that Scott Walker is the darling of both the Tea Party and Republican elite.

    • Mike

      This just goes to show that the only difference between the Republitards and the Democraps is name only — the end game is the same, just their methods might vary. Vote for None of the Above, or be REALLY smart and don’t vote at all.

  • Dave from San Antonio

    Complete nullification of the fourth Amendment. I foresee a few shootings over this. Make the judges…lead the way…with no warrant.

  • Jim

    The article is quite misleading at the very best. According to the article the police found blood and other evidence of personal injury inside the residence suggesting that there might be multiple victims. An exception to the 4th Amendment right to require a search warrant issued by a disinterested magistrate is called exigent circumstances which means that when circumstances are such that a government officer who is conducting the investigation might reasonably believe that another’s life is in immediate danger, which appears to have been the police’s argument here. In such instances, because the obtaining of a search warrant may take many hours or even several days, no search warrant is required. However, each case must be assessed by the court on it’s own merits when making that determination, which appears to be what happened in this case.

    • doucyet

      But Jim. In the 4-3 decision there are no exceptions…….because they essentially eliminated the 4th.

      • Jim

        I guess one would have to read the published opinion of the court, but it appears that the court did it’s job and assessed whether there existed the necessary exigent circumstances to justify the police action. That was their job. It did not affect the 4th Amendment right at all.

        • EmmettGrogan

          Yet we did just fine under the Fourth Amendment for 225 yrs. There is NEVER a reason to make an unconstitutional law – it erodes freedoms little by little until you have none. One day when you come home to cops crawling all over your home and ransacking it, then charging you with a crime because you own a sharp kitchen knife, then maybe you will understand why we have a CONSTITUTION and why we should abide by it.

          • Paul Robinson

            What we need is a little reading comprehension. The police were voluntarily admitted into the home. Inside they found evidence of a possible crime. The 4th has not been violated.

        • doucyet

          Jim, a courts decision (any court) always has an affect, it’s called precedence. Once it’s set then the boundaries are continuously challenged or pushed back until the law (in this case amendment) is moot.
          They’re about to use precedence to attack the second amendment again. Only now they’ll have a “stacked deck” once the new liberal justice is appointed.

          • Rob

            He invited them into his home. That’s mistake number one. After that they found evidence of either further crime or someone who could be in distress. This doesn’t break down the initial barrier of needing a warrant to enter a home in the first place. Inviting police into your home at any time is a bad idea, doing it when cannabis, an illegal substance in Wisconsin, is in plain view, is doubling down on stupid.

            This is nothing but a sensationalist headline in an election year when Rebecca Bradley is running against a liberal, and, GASP, there’s three dissenting liberals sitting on the court. Nothing more than an attempt by the left to smear Rebecca Bradley.

  • doucyet

    OH………..this is just the beginning. Just wait until obama appoints the next liberal POS for Supreme Court Justice. We’re screwed big time!

    • Dave

      Absolutely horrrifying.

  • Zaphod Braden

    Scott Walker — ENEMY/DESTROYER of the Constitution.

  • J Smith

    Know how to safely booby trap your home and make it look like an accident.

    • berrybestfarm

      Right on! Trespassing snoopers deserve to have their “sensibilities” violated to the extreme.

  • desertspeaks

    When criminals manage to manipulate their way into governmental positions of power, they inevitably create laws, policies and rules that make their crimes appear to be legal. These creatures can’t fathom that even a child can discern the difference between what is right and what is wrong and that the creatures actions are CRIMES!

  • Guest

    Do they need a warrant to get accidentally shotgunned in the face while kicking someone’s door down?

    • Paul Robinson

      They didn’t kick the door down they were voluntarily admitted. The locked door was inside the home. A little reading comprehension please and less emotion driven thinking.

      • LGregg

        Paul, you need to read the 4th a bit more closely. It does not say that if the police are given access to the home, they are allowed to search it completely. They were not given voluntary access to the locked door. They had no right to break it down. They only have the right to observe the area they are given access to. The 4th A: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

  • Cami

    NWO Elites will do anything to destroy lives, Liberty, and Freedom.

  • Screw pigs

    Put a bullet through the pig’s head.

  • Hopefully this case will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course if Obama appoints a radical leftist, they probably will arrive at the same ruling…

  • Paul Robinson

    He voluntarily allowed the police to enter his home. Once inside they saw suspicion of a crime and investigated. Nothing unconstitutional about it. If they had forced their way into a home to arbitrarily search it without a warrant then it would be unconstitutional.

  • isnamthere

    Brianna, if you want to appear to be an educated person, please, learn to use the phrase: “begs the question” correctly.

  • Marty

    These judges need to be recalled, and the state needs to pass an amendment to overturn this case.

  • FiverPrometheus

    Jordan Maxwell says it’s called the ‘criminal justice system’ because it was created and is controlled by the criminals that presume to control this planet. The pathetic worshipers of Saturn. Right now go on YouTube and listen to The Allen Parsons Project song EYE IN THE SKY .

  • gawain

    Here in Colorado cannabis is the norm. Move to Colorado and imbibe.
    Don’t have a warrant – best not brake my door down. I will defend my family.

  • Jinro

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking your rights come from the government or a court of law.
    Ironic, when you consider, our military has been fighting and dying for the freedom of others all over the globe for the last 100 years.
    Then again, historically, history is something that happens to someone else.
    Oh well, wonder what the craptashians are up to…

  • JW M

    The Supreme Court of the United States has decided and upheld the
    decision that the police are NOT responsible for your personal security.
    If they were, they would be liable every time a crime was committed.

    CASTLE ROCK V. GONZALES (04-278) 545 U.S. 748 (2005)366 F.3d 1093, reversed.
    Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. 1981)
    Riss v. New York, 22 N.Y.2d 579,293 N.Y.S.2d 897, 240 N.E.2d 806 (1958).
    Lynch v. N.C. Dept. of Justice, 376 S.E. 2nd 247 (N.C. App. 1989)

  • Tater

    the Wisconsin Supreme Court just killed the rights of citizens,
    Legal Definition, They just openly declared every Citizen in Wisconsin to be a Criminal, and as such all possessions on the property to be considered suspected of compliance of a crime.

  • the man

    Wait, the guy let cops enter his residence. That would be consent would it not? I’m no lawyer but the correct response to any officer requesting entry is “do you have a warrant?” Sorry, he consented to entry, thats really the end of the argument is it not?

  • reagangs

    This could possibly cause more citizens and police deaths in the future.

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