No Suspicion Required for Consensual House Search – State v. Domicz

In today’s Supreme Court’s in State v. Domicz, the Justices clarified the requirements for consensual searches under the New Jersey Constitution. Writing for the Court, Justice Albin noted that although the the Constitution requires the police to have a reasonable suspicion before seeking consent to effect the search of an automobile, this is not required in instances where the police seek consent to search a home.

In other issues decided in this important case, the court ruled that the police may obtain records of electricity use from a utility during the course of a criminal investigation by the use of a grand jury subpoena. To the extent that a person in New Jersey has an expectation of privacy in his electric company billing records, those interests are adequately protected by use of a subpoena. No finding of probable cause is necessary to obtain this information.

The Justices also held that the use of polygraph evidence that has not been stipulated as admissible by the parties during a motion to suppress evidence is improper.

Download a copy of State v. Domicz.

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