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Name: Georgia v. Randolph
Case #: 04-1067
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 03/22/2006

Randolph and his wife had separated, and the wife, Janet, moved to Canada. She had returned to the marital residence in Georgia to either reconcile or retrieve belongings. Janet gave police permission to search the residence after Randolph, who was also present, refused to give consent. The trial court denied Randolph’s motion to suppress. The appellate court reversed, and the Supreme Court affirmed the reversal, holding that consent given by one occupant is not valid in the face of the refusal of another physically present occupant, distinguishing United States v. Matlock, which recognized the permissibility of an entry made with the consent of one occupant in the other’s absence. The United States Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a physically present co-occupant’s stated refusal to permit entry renders warrantless entry and search unreasonable and invalid as to him. A disputed invitation gives an officer no better claim to reasonableness in entering than the officer would have absent any consent. A co-tenant with an interest in bringing criminal activity to light can tell police what he knows for use in obtaining a warrant. J. Roberts, Thomas, and Scalia dissent.