Monthly Archives: September 2016

United States v. Vasquez-Algarin: Resuscitating the Fourth Amendment

Author: Petra Ingerson Bergman, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review 

The Fourth Amendment provides for “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”[1] At the time the Fourth Amendment was ratified, the various means by which the government might intrude upon an individual citizen’s life were not extensive. However, as the United States has reached a historically unparalleled degree of complexity, courts have struggled to find the proper balance between public order and personal privacy.

Indeed, Fourth Amendment jurisprudence has morphed from a state of affording broad civil protections to the current, more restricted state. Except for the sanctity of the home, the ability of law enforcement officers to intrude upon an individual’s privacy and property currently appears boundless. Yet, a disagreement over the standing of proof required to search a home sans warrant in order to execute an arrest warrant is brewing in the circuit courts. At issue is the level of suspicion an officer needs before entering a residence to effect an arrest warrant, when the arrest warrant names an individual other than the owner of the residence. Continue reading