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Payton v. New York

United States Supreme Court
445 U.S. 573 (1980)



Police believed they had probable cause that Payton (defendant) was guilty of murder. Without obtaining a warrant, the police went to his apartment at 7:30 in the morning to arrest him. When he did not answer the door, they broke into the home. Payton was not at home but the police found a gun shell casing in plain view that was entered into evidence at trial over Payton’s objections. The trial judge held the evidence admissible because the police were authorized to break into Payton’s home under New York law. In the companion case, Riddick was arrested for armed robbery. Without a warrant, the police went to his home at noon to arrest him. Riddick’s 3-year old son answered the door and, before Riddick invited the police in, they entered the home, arrested him and seized drugs they found in a dresser. The trial judge upheld the entry into the home and the search incident to arrest as permissible under New York law.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

Dissent (White, J.)

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