New Jersey v. BookmanAnnotate this Case
Sometime after 1:00 a.m. on November 2, 2017, New Jersey State Police officers were deployed to arrest Julian Bell on a four-month-old failure to appear warrant. When the officers arrived at Bell’s home, he was standing outside with defendant Steven Bookman. Bell and Bookman fled into a row house next door to Bell’s residence, and officers pursued Bookman to a second-floor bedroom. After an officer informed Bookman he did not have legal grounds to detain him, Bookman voluntarily told the officer he had a revolver inside his jacket pocket. The officer retrieved the handgun and arrested Bookman. Following his indictment for weapons offenses, Bookman moved to suppress the handgun based on the warrantless entry into the row house. The trial court denied the motion, finding officers were permitted to enter the residence without a warrant under the hot pursuit doctrine. The New Jersey Supreme Court determined that under the totality of the circumstances reviewed here, the State Police detectives who entered the neighboring residence without a warrant did not have grounds to invoke the hot pursuit doctrine. The warrantless entry violated the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Paragraph 7 of the New Jersey Constitution. Although the Court was “disturbed” by the manner of execution of this warrant, it declined to adopt a rigid, one-size-fits-all approach to the execution of all Automated Traffic System arrest warrants.