The Fourth Amendment protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, a warrant is required to conduct a lawful search of a person's home, and a warrantless search is unreasonable per se. However, there are some exceptions to this requirement. A warrantless search is reasonable if police obtain voluntary consent from a person to search their home or effects. The Supreme Court has also recognized that a third party with common authority over a household may consent to a police search affecting an absent co-occupant. The Supreme Court of the United States recently addressed whether third party consent was effective as to a present, objecting co-occupant in Georgia v. Randolph, in which a wife granted police permission to search the marital home over the protestations of her husband, and found that it was not.
Georgia v. Randolph: Whose Castle Is It, Anyway?,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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