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  • NY Search question

    What are the rules for consenting to a search without a warrant in a house with more than one person (no dependants)?
    I mean, if your room-mate pays part of the rent can you give consent to search his room? What if he doesn't pay the rent?
    Well life is too short so love the one ya got cuz ya might get run over or ya might get shot.

  • #2
    Originally posted by letshearit4blue
    What are the rules for consenting to a search without a warrant in a house with more than one person (no dependants)?
    I mean, if your room-mate pays part of the rent can you give consent to search his room? What if he doesn't pay the rent?
    I'm not sure what NY law says, but the US Supreme Court says no (and that restriction overrides anything NY says). The roomate can consent to search any area of the house that he/she has access to, but can't consent to search things which are generally only accessable to the other roommate. ie: if the roomates have two separate bedrooms, roommate #1 can consent to a search of his/her own bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, front room (etc), but cannot consent to search their roommate's private bedroom.

    If they share a room, rm #1 can consent to a search of that room, but if there's a suitcase there that belongs to #2, rm #1 can't consent to searching the suitcase.

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    • #3
      NYS Law is generally more restrictive on searches than Federal Law but in this case there is no difference. Here's the bottom line. Any legal occupant of the house may authorize a consent search of any area of the house. They do not have to pay rent, be on the lease or even be a permanent resident. The only restriction is an area that is locked or secured by another person and where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, if the parents of a 17 year old son allow him to put a lock on his bedroom door, they can not legally authorize a search of that room even though it's their house and the son doesn't pay rent. If there is no lock on the door and Mom routinely enters the room to clean and do laundry, there is no expectation of privacy and she may legally authorize a search.

      That suitcase can be searched as long as it isn't locked.
      Last edited by duckfan; 07-26-2005, 11:47 PM.

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