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Name: In re D. C.
Case #: A127228
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/24/2010
Summary

A minor’s parent may consent to a warrantless search of the minor’s bedroom, even over his objection. Police came to the minor’s home to conduct a probation search involving his brother, and their mother gave police permission to search the entire apartment. The minor tried to block access to the apartment, but his mother told him to get out of the way. Police found contraband inside the minor’s bedroom. He appealed the denial of his motion to suppress, alleging it occurred without his consent and over his objection. The appellate court affirmed and concluded the parent of a minor has authority to consent to a search of the minor’s bedroom. The court noted a parent has legal rights and obligations that permit and even require him or her to exercise control of a minor child’s bedroom because parents have a legal duty and the corresponding right to direct, control, and supervise the activities of their minor children. The court rejected the notion that a parent cannot waive the Fourth Amendment rights of minor children, and noted that the Fourth Amendment rights of minors and adults are not co-extensive. In sum, the minor’s objection does not override parental consent.