Topic: Community Caretaking Exception did not apply to warrantless search of a vehicle.
Officers responded to a reported verbal altercation between Neugin and his girlfriend. One of the officers saw ammunition in the back of the truck after he lifted the truck’s camper lid to allow the girlfriend to retrieve her belongings without asking for consent. Neugin argued the officers discovered the evidence during an unconstitutional search since he had no given consent and was made to stand away. The district court concluded the officer was acting “in a lawful position” as “community caretaker,” and found no Fourth Amendment violation. The Tenth Circuit reversed, finding that : (1) the officer conducted the without a warrant or probable cause, (2) the community caretaking exception to the warrant requirement does not apply, and (3) the inevitable discovery exception to the exclusionary rule does not apply. The evidence seized should have been suppressed.
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