The Supreme Court says it may be okay for police to go to your backdoor to ask questions on a hunch
"One’s home is one’s castle," it is oft repeated. If that is so, then why has the United States Supreme Court this week unanimously said it might be okay for police may come to our backyard, knock on the rear door, and scare the crap out us about who on earth is prowling in our backyard so late at night (seeing that police often have a penchant for nighttime visits to suspects, to try to catch them when disoriented). Carroll v. Carman, ___ U.S. ___ (Nov. 10, 2014). Carroll involves a couple’s lawsuit against the police for manhandling the husband when the husband was lawfully on his own property, under suspicion of reaching for a weapon, when the police came to the back of the home for a so-called "knock and talk" investigation. (Remember that you have no obligation to talk with the police beyond instances where the law requires identifying oneself.) Carroll points out three federal appellate court and one state supreme court opinion that do not limit police to going to the front door — versus other doors of the home — for a knock and talk.