skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 153783 Find in a Library
Title: Warrantless Police Entry into Home -- The Emergency Doctrine
Journal: Crime to Court Police Officer's Handbook  Dated:(March 1995)  Pages:complete issue
Author(s): J C Coleman
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 27
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In looking at the legality of warrantless police entry into a home, this handbook notes that the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently emphasized the sanctity of the home but has approved language that allows warrantless police entry in certain cases, including cases based on the emergency doctrine.
Abstract: The case of interest involved an Illinois professor who had fallen into a deep sleep after drinking in his home. When his wife could not wake him up, she became concerned and called the hospital emergency department and requested an ambulance. When the paramedics arrived, the husband woke up and ordered them out of his house. Because he became "belligerent and uncooperative," the paramedics called the police department for assistance. After continuing verbal abuse, he was taken to the hospital and then to jail. He brought suit against the paramedics and the police department, arguing that his constitutional rights had been violated since he had been seized from his home without a warrant or probable cause. The trial judge dismissed the lawsuit, recognizing that emergency situations sometimes justify warrantless police entry and that entry in the case was reasonable and based on probable cause since a paramedic said he saw the man strike his wife. Legal commentary is offered on emergency entry into the home, the justification of warrantless police entry, the impact of illegal police entry on evidence found, probable cause to arrest, and the distinction between emergency entry and exigent circumstances entry.
Main Term(s): Police
Index Term(s): Arrest and apprehension; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Illinois; Lawsuits; Legal doctrines; Probable cause; Search warrants; US Supreme Court decisions; Warrantless search
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.