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Commonwealth v. Porter P.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
923 N.E.2d 36 (2010)
Porter P. (defendant), a juvenile, lived with his mother in a transitional family shelter. As residents of the shelter, Porter P. and his mother were issued keys to their room. Shelter rules expressly permitted shelter staff to enter rooms to conduct inspections and maintenance. Shelter staff were also permitted to escort third parties to perform repairs or other work in the rooms. The rules expressly forbade any weapons in the shelter. The shelter’s director heard that Porter P. allegedly kept a gun in his room. The director called the police for assistance. Officers arrived, read the shelter rules, and determined that the director could consent to the officers’ search of the room. Porter P. was in the room. The officers asked Porter P. to wait in the hall while they searched the room. The officers found a loaded gun and arrested Porter P. The state (plaintiff) charged Porter P. with delinquency for unlawful possession of a firearm. The trial court denied Porter P.’s motion to suppress the evidence. Porter P. was convicted and appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gants, J.)
Dissent (Cowin, J.)
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