Whether the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement extends to the home.
“Decades ago, this Court held that a warrantless search of an impounded vehicle for an unsecured firearm did not violate the Fourth Amendment. Cady v. Dombrowski, 413 U. S. 433, 93 S. Ct. 2523, 37 L. Ed. 2d 706 (1973). In reaching this conclusion, the Court observed that police officers who patrol the “public highways” are often called to discharge noncriminal “community caretaking functions,” such as responding to disabled vehicles or investigating accidents. Id., at 441, 93 S. Ct. 2523, 37 L. Ed. 2d 706. The question today is whether Cady’s acknowledgment of these “caretaking” duties creates a standalone doctrine that justifies warrantless searches and seizures in the home. It does not.” (Caniglia v. Strom (2021) __ U.S. __ [141 S.Ct. 1596] (20-157).) This case was decided on 5/17/2021.