Moot Court Case

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DAVID FALLSBAUER’S RIGHTS UNDER THE FOURTH AMENDMENT WERE VIOLATED BY THE POLICE OFFICERS, BECAUSE WHEN FACED WITH AMBIGUITY REGARDING THE A THIRD PARTY’S CONSENT TO SEARCH THEY FAILED TO MAKE A FURTHER INQUIRY. BY DOING SO, THE OFFICERS VIOLATED DAVID’S RIGHT TO PRIVACY.

The primary question before this Court is whether police officers must make a further inquiry when faced with an ambiguity regarding a third party’s consent to search. The Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals have taken different views when deciding the actions a police officer must take when faced with an ambiguity pertaining to third party consent.

It is crucial to our society that a person’s right to privacy is protected and able to be exercised. The Fourth Amendment was created by our Founding Fathers for this exact reason. If a police officer can conduct a warrantless search without receiving adequate consent then our Fourth Amendment right to privacy will continue to be violated, a violation our great Constitution does not permit.

In Matlock, the court decided that a third party could give consent to search if they had common authority over the object or premises. U.S. v. Matlock, 415 S. Ct. 164, 171 (1974).
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Id. at 681. Once the officers reached the spare bedroom’s closet they found more men’s clothing on top of a shoebox. Id. at 682. The court concluded that a reasonable person would have substantial doubts about whether the box was subject to mutual use. Id. The court explained further that the police would not have opened the shoebox if they had thought it belonged to the female tenant, instead they opened it because they believed it belonged to Taylor. Id. Finally, the court stated that Taylor “took precautions” to manifest his expectations of privacy by closing the shoebox, and did not grant the female tenant permission to open the shoebox. Id. at

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