A New Jersey appeals court has upheld a ruling that dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Warren Township man, who alleged that police unlawfully broke and entered into his house and conducted a search.
The incident occurred in June 2005, when the man, Lawrence Ray, and his wife were going through a messy divorce. His wife turned up at his house that day to pick up her daughter as part of the visitation order. She became concerned when he failed to open the door, and she called the police. The police officers allegedly broke and entered into his home after obtaining an improperly granted warrant from a judge.
Ray filed a lawsuit against Warren Township, and the city argued that the officers were within legal boundaries when they entered his home without a warrant under a community caretaker exemption to a warrantless search. According to Warren Township lawyers, the police officers believed that an emergency existed, and that is why they entered the house.
A federal judge dismissed Ray's complaint against the policemen who were involved in the case. The Court Of Appeals for New Jersey's Third Circuit has now upheld the ruling, and has also clarified that community caretaking does not qualify as an exemption to warrantless searches of a home.
The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons who have been charged with DUI, assault, sex crimes, drug crimes and other crimes across the state of New Jersey.