Case Study : Fernandez V. California

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Case Name: Fernandez v. California, 134 S. Ct. 1126 (2014) Factual History: In Los Angeles, California during the month of October and year of 2009, Abel Lopez was attacked and robbed by a man with a knife, he later identified as Walter Fernandez. During the confrontation between Lopez and Fernandez, Fernandez informed Lopez the territory in which Lopez was ruled by the “Drifters” After Lopez placed a call to 911, a few minutes after the attack, police and paramedics arrived on the scene. Two Los Angeles police officers, Detective Clark and Officer Cirrito, drove to a nearby alley that was often contained members of the Drifters gang. Here in the ally, a witnesses told them that the suspect was in an apartment in a house located off the…show more content…
The California Court of Appeal found the warrantless search was justified by Rojas’s written and verbal consent. The court agreed with the majority of the federal circuits, in that, this case was “indispensable to the decision in Randolph.” The decision was ultimately concluded that a tenant’s objection has no force if he or she is not physically present. Therefore held, the warrantless search was lawful because Rojas; a co-tenant, consented. Fernandez was denied review in the California Court of Appeal, however certiorari was granted. Issue: Under the Fourth Amendment, was the warrantless search consented by Rojas allowed, even though Fernandez had previously objected to it, and if so, does Fernandez have standing in the matter, even though not physically present during the consent of his co-tenant? Decision: No. Legal Reasoning: The ultimatum of the Fourth Amendment is whether the search was reasonable. The Supreme Court upheld that a warrant is generally required to search a home. Warrantless searches are not reasonable when two co-tenants are present and one of the tenants objects. However, the court held that a same search is reasonable when the opposing tenant is not present. Since the opposing tenant; Fernandez, was arrested and not present, the court affirmed that the search was reasonable
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