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Name: People v. Sanders
Case #: F033862
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/20/2000
Subsequent History: Review Granted February 28, 2001 (S094088)

Here, because the search of appellant’s entire residence was without reasonable cause to believe the areas swept harbored an individual posing a danger to those on the arrest scene, the court held that the “protective sweep doctrine” did not apply, and the search was therefore invalidated. The court explicitly found that the departmental policy of making a protective sweep of a residence to make sure there is no one else in the residence that could endanger the officers’ safety was in “direct contravention” of the limits of the protective sweep adopted in Maryland v. Buie (1990) 494 U.S. 325, 327, which requires a standard of reasonable suspicion that the area swept harbors an individual posing a danger to those on the arrest scene. Buie translated the reasonable suspicion standard into two types: first, officers may, without probable cause or reasonable suspicion, and as a “precautionary matter” incident to arrest, look in closets and other spaces immediately adjoining the place of arrest from which an attack could be immediately launched; second, if articulable facts, taken together with rational inferences, warrant a reasonably prudent officer in believing that the area to be swept harbors an individual posing a danger, the officers may further investigate the premises for purposes of insuring their safety. In neither instance, however, may the investigation be a “full search of the premises.” It must be limited to a cursory inspection of those spaces where a person may be found. Here, the record failed to support the officer’s entry into the appellants’ bedrooms, which were separated by a hallway from the living room, where appellants were handcuffed.