Our Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guarantees citizens the right to be secure against all unreasonable searches and seizures. But when allegations of child abuse are involved, state personnel seem willing to violate this principle. Join HSLDA counsel Darren Jones and host Mike Farris as they review a recent case on today’s Home School Heartbeat.
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Darren, we’ve done lots of cases involving allegations of child abuse. We’ve got one now where the allegation is elder abuse. Tell me what’s going on.
That’s right! Mr. and Mrs. Batt have opened up their home to take care of Mrs. Batt’s father. He suffers from dementia, and they have nurses coming in and out several times a week to help out. But someone maliciously reported them to Adult Protective Services. Their adult son Joseph was caring for grandpa that day. Joseph looked out, he saw a police officer watching their house. So he went out and asked what the officer was doing there. The officer rudely stated he had to come in immediately because they had a complaint that his grandfather was being abused. Joseph politely said, “I’m not going to let you in without a warrant,” and then he went inside to call his parents, and the officer followed him in, shouting at him, “You don’t know the law; I have a legal right to come in, I don’t care if there’s no emergency!”
Darren, it’s obvious, that police officer doesn’t know the Constitution. What policy recommendations would you make to help State officials stay within the boundaries of the Constitution?
Well, most importantly, they need to know that the 4th Amendment protects our right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. And this means that government officials can’t just come in to a private home without a warrant or an emergency, even if they’re investigating child abuse, or elder abuse.
Thanks for your work in this case; I’m Mike Farris.