Fernandez V. California: Fourth Amendment Upheld?

1677 words 7 pages
Fernandez v. California: Fourth Amendment Upheld?

POL 303

August 4, 2013

The Merit case of Fernandez v. California is seeking to determine whether the Constitutional rights of Walter Fernandez were violated under the 4th Amendment when law enforcement conducted a search of his residence upon obtaining consent from his girlfriend, who was also a resident, after Fernandez was taken into custody (and had stated his objections to the search while at the scene). In Georgia v. Randolph (2006), in a 5 to 3 decision, the Supreme Court held that when two co-occupants are present and one consents to a search while the other refuses, the search is not constitutional. This paper will provide a statement of the decision, based on current
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The Matlock Court stated, in its now-famous line, that "the consent of one who possesses common authority over premises or effects is valid as against the absent, non-consenting person with whom that authority is shared."
In Illinois v. Rodriguez" Supreme Court held on apparent authority: Rodriguez established that if the police reasonably believed that a third party had the authority to consent to a search, the consent will stand despite the fact that the third party did not have actual authority to permit the search. In Rodriguez, Gail Fischer told police officers that the defendant had assaulted her and she led the officers to his apartment so that they could arrest him. Fischer referred to defendant's apartment as "our" apartment, and told the officers that she kept some of her personal items there. Using her key, Fischer opened the apartment for the police, who entered and arrested the defendant. The officers discovered cocaine in the living room, which they seized. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence based on the fact that Fischer had no authority to allow the police into his apartment. The Illinois trial court granted his motion to suppress, and the appellate court affirmed. The Supreme Court agreed with the Illinois appellate court that Fischer did not have actual authority over the apartment at the time of the search. Nevertheless, the Court granted certiorari to determine whether a third party's consent to