Plenty V Dillon Case Study

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The following outlines the material facts, key legal issues and common law rules in Plenty v Dillon.
Material Facts in Plenty v Dillon.
Police officers Michael Kenneth Dillon and Robyn Ann Will entered the property of Sydney Graham Plenty on the 5th of December 1978 to serve a summons on his daughter in accordance with the Juvenile Courts Act 1971 (S.A.). The property was a small farm located near Port Pirie in South Australia.
There was no implied or explicit consent from Mr Plenty for the officers to enter the property. Mr Plenty and his wife were having a conversation in their garage at the time of the Police officer’s arrival. Mr Plenty and his wife refused to accept the court documents and one of the police officers placed them on a nearby
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The court held that the police officers were not authorized to go upon the land for the purposes of serving a summons without express consent or implied leave from the land’s owner. It is based upon the rule that any person who walks onto another’s property without permission, even for a minute, is guilty of trespass. This rule applies to both ordinary citizens and people acting under the authority of the state. The court distinguished between the obligatory nature of a warrant and the voluntary nature of a summons. Whilst an issue for a warrant may necessitate a forced and coercive entry onto private property by law enforcement, the service of a summons does …show more content…
Common clearly law states that unless a person enters private land with implied or expressed consent, he or she is a trespasser.
The common law rule often referred to as the “third rule” in the Semayne 's Case states; "in all cases when the King is party, the sheriff (if the doors be not open) may break the party 's house, either to arrest him, or to do other execution of the [King] 's process, if otherwise he cannot enter.” The High Court has narrowly defined “execution of the king’s process” to pertain to a process which is carried out against property or a person in a coercive nature. The court subsequently found that an execution in this nature does not include the service of a summons.
The court held that for the purposes of arresting with a warrant, police entry into private property is authorised as it is the “execution of the king’s process.” The judgment stated that an officer may also enter private property for the intention of arresting a person who is escaping an affray, preventing a murder or if an offender has ran into the property. This does not include serving a

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