Nevada Supreme Court issues opinion

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In Hannon v. State, the Court reverses a conviction, entered pursuant to a plea of nolo contendere, of one count of possession of a controlled substance.  The Court finds that an "emergency" search of a home was unlawful because there was no objectively reasonable basis to believe that the two occupants or any undisclosed third party may have been in danger inside. The opinion brings Nevada case law into conformity with the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Brigham City v. Stuart, 547 U.S. 398, 404 (2006).

Hannon involves a call to an apartment based upon a 911 call of a neighbor concerning a domestic disturbance.  Both the adult male and the female stated that they were okay and refused permission for the police officers to enter the apartment.  Officers stated that they pushed their way into the apartment to protect the safety of the occupants and then saw pot and paraphernalia once they were inside.  The district court denied the suppression motion, even though the police officer admitted that he did not have any evidence that another occupant may have been inside who needed emergency assistance, but "just had suspicions."  The Nevada Supreme Court reversed.  The officer's subjective motivations are irrelevant.  An objective standard applies.  Under the facts here, there was no objectively reasonable basis to believe that a third party was injured inside.

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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on May 21, 2009 9:18 AM.

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