1st Circuit Court of Appeals: HILL vs. EDWARD WALSH, et al. (City of Taunton)

The First Circuit Court of Appeals on February 27, 2018 issued its decision in Hill v Edward Walsh, et al. in which it adopted for the circuit the “emergency aid” exception to warrantless entry of property.  The police, who were seeking a person who had almost overdosed, thought he was in his parent’s home and in danger, entered the home without a warrant.  The Court clarified the standard to be followed by police in such matters, holding that it clarifies “our circuit’s emergency aid doctrine: officers seeking to justify their warrantless entry need only demonstrate “‘an objectively reasonable basis for believing’ that ‘a person within [the house] is in need of immediate aid.'” Michigan v. Fisher, 558 U.S. 45,47 (2009) (alteration in original) (internal quotations omitted).  They do not need to establish that their belief approximated probable cause that such an emergency existed. We thus modify our previous pronouncements in United States v. Martins, 413 F.3d 139 (1st Cir. 2005), and its progeny.”  The Court affirmed qualified immunity for the police officers.

Congrats to MMLA member and Taunton First Assistant City Solicitor Daniel de Abreau who represented the City of Taunton.  Click here for the full text of the case.

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