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Probationer’s Roommate Retains Privacy Rights

Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by Andrew Charles Huff

A probation officer’s authority to search a woman’s apartment suspected of violating the terms of her probation stops at the roommates private space.

In State v. Rooney, Division II was faced with the question whether a warrantless search of an apartment cohabitated by a probationer and her roommate was proper. By statute, a probation officer has authority to search a probationer suspected of violating the terms of probation. But the Court found that “the consent of only one person with common authority over the place to be searched when multiple cohabitants are present, however, is not sufficient to conduct a lawful search of shared space.” In other words, you need to get a warrant.

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