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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27692
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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A police oficer told me today he was going to have my power

Customer Question

A police oficer told me today he was going to have my power shut off. Is this legeal
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Can you tell me more about your situation? Why would a police officer be turning off your power?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Well first if u could answer this question please . it will take some research online on your part. Mind if i ask another question? Here goes then we will go back to this one it will tie in. Glad to see u lucy your very through
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I need you to read on the health dept website concerning what constitutes putting a red tag on a home . from what i read a home has to be found having items that are a meth lab am i correct?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

I don't know if it's legal for the police officer to turn off your power unless I know why he's doing it. Is he serving a warrant? Is he your landlord? Is the house on fire? Is he just out to get you? I'd very much appreciate any more information you could give me to ensure that I'm giving you accurate information.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

I'm sorry, but we're only allowed to answer one question per question page. I see that you've posted your red tag question on another page, so I'm not allowed to answer that here. Another expert will pick it up when they're able. My expertise lies more in police behavior than health department issues, so I'm not the best person to help with that.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Oh ok.then we will go back to the police officer.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Today my maintence man was in a red tagged property . so the officer called me and told me he was going to shut off the power
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He wrote my maintence man a tresspassing ticket
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Then the officer im told went all through the house himself
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have a no tresspassing signs on the property.
Is it legeal for him to go through my home
Without being invited? Or a warrant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Police can only enter a person's home without a warrant or invitation if there is an emergency or if they're in pursuit of someone fleeing arrest.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

If the police officer has reason to believe the house is going to explode, that would be the type of emergency that would allow him the ability to enter.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I see. He tells me that he thought there was someone else in the house. He went in and videotaped my home
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
What can i do?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Someone in the house, generally, is not an emergency. (There's someone in my house right now.) Is he claiming that person gave him consent to enter?

Were you arrested or charged with a crime after he entered?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
No he does not claim the person gave him consent
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Then he's only allowed in if the house was in immediate danger of collapse and that he had to enter to save the person inside.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He claims he had the right to enter.
And because he found someone in there
That he now is going to have my piwer shut off
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He says because the house is red tagged meaning considered hazmat.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Of course he's claiming he has the right to enter. That doesn't mean he DID. I could claim the right to enter your house, too. As I said, without a warrant, he can only enter in an emergency or with consent of someone who lives there. He has to be able to convince a judge that the existence of the red tag, with ZERO other evidence, proves that the house presented an immediate danger to the life of the person inside and he had no choice but to walk in and save that person. But let me tell you, it doesn't sound like he's all that concerned about the house falling down if he's walking around taking video.

If he reasonably believed the house to be abandoned, that would be a different story.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The house is beautiful.
Not rickity.
There had been a homeless person i helped and he brought drugs in the house
So they busted in and red tagged the home. I believe they mis labeled this incident
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Its funny Lucy he said this"but im leaving the water on so u can continue to keep the beautiful yard up
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He knows that its being taken care if
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

I'm afraid I can't comment on them condemning the house because that's outside my expertise. But it doesn't sound like the officer had any business being there.

Typically, when a police officer violates someone's Fourth Amendment rights, the recourse is to move to suppress any evidence seized. However, you said that you weren't charged with a crime. What are you trying to accomplish here?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
he wrote my maintence man a tresspassing ticket.
Im trying to just see if the officer had any right to go in and videotape etc is all
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

You don't have any legal right to protest someone else's trespassing ticket. If there's a red tag on the house saying that no one is allowed to enter, your maintenance man shouldn't have been inside.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

There isn't any law that would prohibit the officer from videotaping if he had a legal right to enter in the first place. But the existence of a red tag, without more, doesn't strip the homeowner of Fourth Amendment rights.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
What about pribbanle cause? Dies that have any play in any of this
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Probable cause is required to get a warrant, but it's not used to evaluate whether an officer was allowed to enter without one.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Someone told me that he had the right to enter since a red tag home is considered abandoned. However in my mind if we cant go in because of hazmat he shouldnt be allowed in either
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He actually opened my backyard gate pushed my daughter aside and told her she was tresspassing.
Then went downstairs and opened the door
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

I'm afraid I'm not available to answer questions on the weekend. I'm going to opt out in favor of another expert. Please do not reply, as that can cause delays.