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Name: United States v. Moore
Case #: 13-10464
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/23/2014

Search of defendant’s residence based on co-occupant’s consent was lawful under the Fourth Amendment because defendant, who was present, never expressly refused consent. Moore’s fiancée consented to a search of the house that she and Moore shared. Moore was present but did not expressly object. During the search, officers found boxes filled with marijuana and digital scales. Moore was charged with possession with intent to distribute (21 U.S.C. § 841). Moore’s motion to suppress the marijuana on Fourth Amendment grounds was denied. The jury convicted him and he appealed. Held: Affirmed. Generally, a search of a residence, without a warrant, is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment if a co-occupant of that residence consents to it. However, under Georgia v. Randolph (2006) 547 U.S. 103, there is one “narrow” exception: “a physically present inhabitant’s express refusal of consent to a police search is dispositive as to him, regardless of the consent of a fellow occupant.” Here, that narrow exception was not in play because Moore never “expressly” refused consent. The fact he refused to answer the door when officers knocked on it was at best an implicit refusal. Since Randolph is a “narrow” exception it should not be extended to include cases where defendants implicitly, rather than expressly, refuse consent.