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Name: United States v. Deemer
Case #: 03-30034
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/20/2004
Subsequent History: None

Anchorage police received a 911 call they identified as coming from a hotel room. The caller hung up. After an unsuccessful attempt to call back, officers were dispatched to the hotel room, which was number 105. There was no response from the room when officers knocked, and they saw no lights and heard no sounds. Officers did see a light in the room next door, and knocked on the window. The resident of that room opened the door slightly, and officers could see it was in disarray. Officers went into the room and looked around, finding methamphetamine. Appellant was in the bathroom of the room. His motion to suppress was denied by the magistrate, who concluded that the entry was justified by the emergency circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment. The appellate court here reversed the denial of the suppression motion. The emergency doctrine did not justify the search because there was no reasonable basis to associate the emergency with the area searched. There was little reason to believe that someone in that room made the 911 call. The police’s receipt of a 911 call from one house does not give them authority to search other houses in the area.