Supreme Court Case (4th Amendment)

Alexis Crump Landmark Supreme Court Case: Washington V. Chrisman 11/29/9 Plaintiff: State of Washington Defendant: Chrisman Plaintiff’s Claim: The drugs that were collected in Chrisman’s dormitory room was legally obtained and could be used as evidence. Chief Lawyer for the Plaintiff: Ronald R Carpenter Chief Lawyer for the Defendant: Robert F Patrick Judges in Favor of the Court: Harry A. Blackmun, Sandra Day O’Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. , William H. Rehnquist and John Paul Stevens Judges in Favor of the Defendant: William J Brennan, Jr. , Thurgood Marshall and Byron R. White

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Place: Washington D. C Date of Verdict: Janurary 13, 1982 Verdict: -It’s verdict did overthrow the verdict of the Washington Court of Appeals -The warrantless search of Chrisman’s dorm didn’t violate his Fourth Amendment right -Evidence collected at the scene was legally able to be used in the court Significance: – It’s an example of the court’s willingness to interpert the Fourth Amendment involving drug use or exchange -The court interpreted the plain view rule, for the offer it is a risk but after the case it frees them from “reviewing courts” on the search and/or seizure Call for Action: In the 1970’s-1980’s drug exchange and use rose to higher levels -Common drug use with the youth by the late 1970’s – Public opinion demanded some action be taken by the authorities to curb the illegal drug trade -Pressure was sent to the Supreme Court to interpret the Fourth Amendment to help support officers when investigating drug cases A Bad Time for a Party: -ON January 1, 1978 Carl Overdahl was caught with liquor in plain view leaving his dorm room at Washington University – WSU didn’t allow the possession of alcohol on campus -Officer Daugherty, the WSU police department officer, asked for

Overdahl’s identification immediately as he saw the liquor -Overdahl said he had to retrieve it from his dorm and Daugherty gave him permission but he had to go with him -The two men went to the room while Daugherty waited in the door way and Chrisman, the defendant, was in the room as well -While Daugherty waited he glanced around the room and spotted marijuana seeds and a pipe in plain view and he stepped inside the room to make sure -Daugherty was sure he found the drugs and got consent from both Overdahl and Chrisman to search the room where he found three bags of arijuana, $112 and LSD, another drug Legal Proceedings: -Chrisman was charged for the possesion of illegal drugs -Chrisman entered a pretrial motion to supress the evidence obtained by Daugherty’s warrantless search -Since Daugherty had no reason to believe that Overdahl would try to destroy the evidence while searching his identification, so Daughtery’s entering the room violated Chrisman’s Fourth Amendment right -This motion was denied and Chrisman was convicted on both counts -Chrisman appealed to the Washington Court of Appeals which confirmed his previous conviction Upon further appeal to the Washington supreme Court Chrisman won his Case -Daugherty spotting the marijuana seeds represented an unreasonable search and was illegally inadmissible -Given his implications of this case for future law enforcement action against the trade in illegal drugs the Supreme Court took this on and arguments on November 3, 1981 Plain View Rule: -On January 13,1982 the Supreme Court reversed the verdict of the Washington Supreme Court -The Federal Supreme Court found Daugherty’s search reasonable and the evidence collected was legally used Daugherty’s legal finding of the seeds and pipe were supported under the plain view rule -Both of Daugherty’s searches didn’t violate Chrisman or Overdahl’s Fourth Amendment right along with the permission to search the room Impact: -It’s an early example of interpreting the Fourth Amendment allowing maximum freedom for law enforcement dealing with illegal drug usage and exchange -It allows police officers to take the arrested person to a place of their choosing, to accompany the arrested person to where they’re going when demanding identification and allows to look for evidence around the arrested person


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