You are here: Home AMICUS NEWS State v. Blockman, 198 Wn. App. 34 (2017); WSSC #94273-1

State v. Blockman, 198 Wn. App. 34 (2017); WSSC #94273-1

The COA - Division I issued an unpublished opinion on this case on January 23, 2017 (197 Wn. App. 1047 (2017)). WACDL joined as Amicus on a motion to publish on February 3, 2017 which was granted on March 2, 2017. A petition for review was filed on March 17, 2017 and WACDL joined as amicus with Nancy Talner - ACLU and Magda Baker - WDA on May 5, 2017

Court

WSSC

Issue

Did the Court of Appeals err by extending the "protective sweep" exception to the warrant requirement to any circumstances where an officer is present at a residence and has reason to believe there are other people present, regardless of whether there is a reason to believe the other people may be armed or dangerous.

WACDL Amicus

Does a warrantless "protective sweep" of a person's home by a law enforcement officer violate Article 1, section 7 when conducted outside the context of an arrest and whether such searches have such broad public impact that review by WSSC is warranted.

Ruling

The WSSC determined that the search was consensual and, therefore, legal — a defeat for the defendant. However, on the issue of a protective sweep that was addressed by the WACDL amicus, in which the COA opinion had expanded to basically allow any warrantless search of a house, the majority opinion declined to decide because the search was legal due to consent. There is some good language in the majority opinion that disavows the COA decision on the protective sweep and Justice McCloud (joined by Wiggins) was more explicit and her concurrence explains why the protective sweep is more limited than the COA said. The language in Justice McCloud’s decision tracks the argument made by WACDL in the amicus brief.

WACDL Amicus Author

Tom Weaver

Appellate Author

Stephanie Cunningham

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