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Warrantless Searches Okayed in MN Apartment Building Hallways

By August 27, 2018 No Comments

A recent ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court “has expanded the ability of police to search premises without a warrant,” reports Minnesota Lawyer. Three of the five justices who considered the case determined that “a resident has no reasonable expectation of privacy” in a hallway outside of an apartment unit. Therefore, “a warrantless narcotics-dog sniff of the door [to an apartment unit] did not constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment and did not violate the Minnesota Constitution.” One of the justices in favor of the ruling wrote that a dog sniff “cannot disclose lawful activity and therefore does not implicate an expectation of privacy that society recognizes as reasonable.” One of the two justices who dissented in the case wrote, “The search of the door of a single-family home requires a warrant, but the search of the door of an apartment home does not. But homes are homes. Because Minnesotans’ constitutional rights should not depend on the form of their dwelling, I respectfully dissent.”