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Illinois v. McArthur

United States Supreme Court
531 U.S. 326 (2001)


On April 2, 1997, McArthur asked two police officers to accompany her back to her trailer home so that she could remove her belongings. She needed the officers to help her keep the peace with her estranged husband, Charles (defendant). When they arrived at the trailer, the husband was at home. The officers remained outside while McArthur went inside. When she came out McArthur spoke to one of the officers, Chief Love, and suggested that he search the trailer because she said Charles had “dope” inside. She told him that her husband kept it under the couch. When Love knocked on the trailer door and told Charles what the wife had said, asking whether he could come in, the husband said no. Love then sent the other officer and McArthur to get a search warrant. When Charles was with Love on the porch, Love told the husband that he could not reenter the trailer unless a police officer went with him. The husband went inside the trailer two or three times (for cigarettes and to make a phone call), and each time, Love stood just inside the door to observe what the husband was doing. The second officer returned two hours later with the search warrant, and they and other officers searched the trailer home. They found a marijuana pipe under the sofa as well as marijuana itself. They arrested Charles. At trial, Charles tried to suppress the pipe and other drug-related objects as the “fruits” of an unlawful search. The trial court granted the husband’s motion. The Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed, and the Supreme Court of Illinois denied the state’s petition of leave to appeal. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

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