State v. HammAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of criminal appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court granting Defendants' motion to suppress, holding that the warrantless search of a probationer's residence who is subject to a search condition does not require officers to have reasonable suspicion of illegal activity prior to conducting the search.
Law enforcement conducted a warrantless search of the residence of a probationer and her husband, resulting in the discovery of illegal drugs and drug-related contraband. Pursuant to probation conditions imposed in a previous case, the probationer had agreed to a warrantless search of her person, property, or vehicle at any time. In affirming the trial court's decision to grant Defendants' motion to suppress, the court of criminal appeals concluded that the State was required to have reasonable suspicion to support the probation search and that the State lacked such suspicion in this case. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) because of the probation conditions to which the probationer was subject, the probation search of portions of the probationer's residence was constitutionally allowable; and (2) the search of probationer's husband's personal belongings located within Defendants' shared bedroom was proper pursuant to the doctrine of common authority.
Authoring Judge: Justice Roger A. Page
Trial Court Judge: Judge Jeff Parham
The Obion County Drug Task Force conducted a warrantless search of the residence of probationer Angela Hamm and her husband, David Hamm, which yielded illegal drugs and drug-related contraband. Defendant Angela Hamm had agreed, pursuant to probation conditions imposed in a prior case, to a warrantless search of her person, property, or vehicle at any time. We granted the State’s appeal in this case to consider whether the warrantless search of a probationer’s residence who is subject to a search condition requires officers to have reasonable suspicion of illegal activity prior to conducting the search. We conclude that it does not and therefore reverse the trial court’s judgment and the Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision affirming the same.