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August 15, 2017

Batt Brief: Why Joseph Couldn’t Close the Door

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Home School Legal Defense Association stood up for the rights of Americans to be secure in their homes from unreasonable searches when we filed a brief August 4 with the Second Circuit court defending a New York member family.

Darren Jones DARREN JONES Litigation attorney

We believe the Batt family’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated by a police officer in an incident we’ve reported on here and here.

The police officer forcibly entered the Batt family’s home based on a request from Adult Protective Services that he do a “welfare check.” As we explained in our brief, the officer didn’t even know what the allegations were. However, he said on video recorded on the scene that if somebody’s welfare may be in jeopardy, “I don’t need a search warrant. I don’t need to ask permission ….”

That’s wrong. The Fourth Amendment doesn’t have an exception based on a “welfare check.” Before police can come into a home, they must have either a warrant or some clearly defined exception, like an emergency or a hot pursuit of a suspect.

HSLDA believes it is important to confront the notion that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply when authorities demand to enter a home to conduct a “welfare check.” That’s why we filed this suit in the first place.

Please pray for the success of HSLDA’s efforts at the Second Circuit. We’re in this fight not just for the Batts, but for all American citizens.