Police Officer Preparation & Law Enforcement Resource - Archive

The REAL POLICE FORUM is a leading community of police officers and law enforcement professionals. The forum includes police chat and restricted areas for police officers only. The ask-a-cop area allows you to ask questions to real police officers and only verified police are allowed to respond. REALPOLICE.com also features law enforcement jobs, news, training materials and expert articles.




homicidal1
11-11-10, 03:12 AM
I would like to know if a search can be based on an anonymous call. I have had my residence repeatedly searched over the years due to anonymous calls ( I believe were made by my ex/stalker). I believe he made the calls because I recently obtained a copy of the Child Protective Service file that contains the reports when calls were made to their agency to report allegations as well. The reason I believe they were made by him is the caller made statements that he was scared for the safety of his children.
I recently came across a case law Florida V J.L. " In recent case law, Florida v. J.L. (March 28, 2000), the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that anonymous tips are not sufficient grounds to constitute probable cause for a search. Judge Ginsburg, writing for the Supreme Court, stated, "Such an exception would enable any person seeking to harass another to set in motion an intrusive, embarrassing police search of the targeted person simply by placing an anonymous call.…"
I have had officers tell me that I would be arrested if I did not allow them into my home to perform their searches. I have also been told that the door would be kicked in. So I am wondering if it would be considered facilitating a stalking order violation on their part since I have a protective stalking order against my ex husband. The order includes the children as other person to be protected and the allegations to CPS have always been unfounded. So I am wondering if my 4th amendment rights have been violated repeatedly over the years as I feel my ex husband has learned how to use these government entities as a way to harass me and the children.
I have to admit it has been extremely embarrassing to have my neighbors see police officers at my house repeatedly. My protective order states that he is not to communicate with business or government entities with the intent of affecting some right or interest of mine or the other persons on the protective stalking order. I spoke with an officer earlier this year when he made false allegations that led to me being arrested. (charges were dismissed by the district attorney) The officer told me that my ex husband/stalker had a right to request welfare checks, and that he could call them to report anything he felt needed reporting. I tried to explain to her that I have a protective stalking order and that he shouldn't know any of the activities in my house, unless he was watching/stalking me again. I wanted to clarify the information she gave me but she resigned from the force September 30th,2010.
So if anyone knows if anonymous calls can be used to constitute a search please let me know. I would ask the officers in my own city but I am afraid that they will see it as a personal insult should I try to share this case law that I have found. I live in Oregon...I would appreciate some input regarding this issue. Thanks!


Citicop
11-11-10, 06:57 AM
No one here is going to comment on your specific circumstances based solely on the info above. It's only one side of the story, after all.

But in general, an anonymous call is not enough to establish Probable Cause, as the case law you cited dictated. And absent specific exigent circumstances, the police must get a warrant to search your house without your even if they have probable cause.

I would point out that just because you weren't told who called does not mean the police did not know.

-Citicop.

Legoate
11-11-10, 07:37 AM
You are mixing up probable cause with the officer's need to conduct welfare checks of your children. "Facilitating a stalking order"? Give me a break.


retdetsgt
11-11-10, 07:45 AM
A police officer can do a limited search to check on the welfare of others living in the home, e.g. domestic violence or child welfare. They can't search for contraband though.

But, yeah if someone calls and says one of your children has been injured, etc and you try to refuse to allow an officer to check on the child, they can enter and do so without your permission. That's a common sense thing.

Again, you need to get a lawyer and deal with the problems between you and your ex. Otherwise this will just continue. Is there a Legal Aid office where you live?

mcsap
11-11-10, 08:35 AM
If they had a seacrh warrant , they would have needed an affidavit of probable cause. This is different for a check the welfare call. You should be able to ( or your lawyer) get a copy of the affidavit on which lists the reasons why the police asked the judge to give them a search warrant.

scott715us
11-13-10, 04:15 AM
As the others have indicated, there are exceptions to the standard PC warrant requirement when it comes to child welfare. Your little remark of "solicitation" of a crime regarding the involved officers checking on children is ridiculous to say the least. Keep in mind that you're on a pro-police site. You seek our advice, yet you make implications that the officers are committing crimes. If you have issues with your children being checked on by DCS or police officers, hire an attorney.

As far as insulting officers, I can guarantee you they know more case law and issues of the law than you ever will, especially when it comes to a warrant requirement.

homicidal1
11-16-10, 03:27 AM
It was not my intention to insult any of the police officers on here or in my town. As I have stated before the two officers that continued to dismiss my concerns for the violations of the protective order I have been granted have resigned. My question was referring to the continued request of welfare checks made by the man that is listed as the respondent on my stalking order is the very same person that has continued to request the welfare checks. "My protective order states that he is not to communicate with business or government entities with the intent of affecting some right or interest of mine or the other persons on the protective stalking order." It has not been a pleasant experience to have had my house and children checked. So I suppose the real question should be ... should the police consider the fact that the requests have been made by my stalker?
When I raised this question to the director of Children's Protective Services the investigations no longer resulted in searches of my home as they realized that my stalker was using their agency to continue harassing me and family members.
I am just wondering if it is considered excessive to have had my house searched 13 times in an 11 month period when the calls were made by my stalker. So forgive me if you feel that I have insulted any of the men that wear uniforms and put their lives on the line every day in order to uphold the law. I also feel I should state the there were no warrants when these searches were performed. I was simply told that if I did not comply I would be arrested. I complied out of fear of arrest. Nothing was found during these searches, except for sleeping children and a very tired me, especially when the searches were performed in the middle of the night.

mobrien316
11-16-10, 05:40 AM
Go with the earlier advice and consult with a lawyer. I have never spent a year searching someone's house on a monthly basis with no warrant and no exigent circumstances (which must be the case with you, since you say the officers required your consent to do their searches.)

If this is truly happening to you explain it all to an attorney and seek his/her advice. You also might wish to check with the local police, since it seems unlikely to me that the officers who are searching your home are with them. It would probably be a good idea to find out who you've been letting into your home on a monthly basis for the past year.

homicidal1
11-18-10, 12:40 AM
I was living alone with my children but I appreciate the advice. I wasn't entertaining company. I am just a single mom that does not want to continue being harassed by my ex husband. So thank you I will not ask about this topic again. However, I do find it unnerving that some of the responses infer that I am doing something wrong...I survived that is all I can be found guilty of.

mcsap
11-18-10, 09:35 AM
We do NOT know you or your circumstances. ANYONE in Law Enforcement knows that when we are told about an event that much more often than not , we are either misled or information is omitted.

While we are not accusing you of lying , it is so COMMON to us that it is rare that we take anyones word as the entire truth right off of the bat. As a citizen of the community , you should be glad we don't. We must go towards a more neutral position unitl we can speak to both sides and any witnesses as we form and evalute the truthfulness and validity of the event.

When we take official action , we want to be sure that we are doing the right thing. We rarely get accolades when weo do the right thing but we sure get noticed when we don't.