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Name: U.S. v. Snipe
Case #: 06-30215
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/28/2008

To justify a warrantless entry by law enforcement in an emergency situation, (1) under the totality of the circumstances, law enforcement must have an objectively reasonable basis for concluding that there was an immediate need to protect others or themselves from serious harm; and (2) the search’s scope and manner were reasonable to meet the need. (Brigham City v. Stuart (2006) __ U.S. __ [126 S. Ct. 1943], modifying U.S. v. Morales (9th Cir. 2000) 219 F.3d 882.) Responding to a 5 a.m. call to the police from a “hysterical sounding” male screaming, “get the cops here now,” one of the officers, who lived in the neighborhood, noted a vehicle he did not recognize as well as an individual he did not recognize running or walking into the residence. The residence looked suspicious as the lights were on. Entering without a warrant, the officer and his partner observed several people seated around a kitchen table on which appeared to be a large quantity of drugs. After determining that there was no emergency, the police left and obtained a warrant based on their observations. A subsequent search of the residence pursuant to the warrant produced a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Under the two-pronged test formulated by Brigham City (whether the circumstances, viewed objectively, justify the search and whether the manner of entry was reasonable), the appellate court found that the district court did not err in denying appellant’s suppression motion.