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Fourth Amendment Discussion

Francis, a probationer, signed a contract with Louisiana Home Detention Services, Inc. (LHD), a private company designated by the State of Louisiana to monitor individuals placed in home incarceration, allowing the warrantless search of his home if LHD employees had probable cause to believe he possessed contraband. This condition was never imposed by a court. After a traffic stop, police inquired of LHD and developed probable cause to believe Francis possessed drugs in his home. LHD employees and police went to Francis' address and requested entry. Francis said the house belonged to his girlfriend. She refused to allow entry, but did so after being told that the officers would
Enter whether she consented or not. The court held that warrantless entry was not consensual and that the contract provision allowing entry on probable cause was illegal because the condition was not imposed by a judge. Is the search legal because the officers relied on the contract in good faith? U.S. v. Francis, 183 F.3d 450 (5th Cir. 1999).

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This was a long, drawn out case due to the circumstances. At the conclusion, the court affirmed the district court's ruling to suppress the evidence that was confiscated in the search. The main element with regards to the search is the 'good faith doctrine.' This doctrine states that the police officers and others acting in the capacity of law enforcement officers have reason to believe that their actions are justified and legal. In ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the case of Francis and Louisiana Home Detention Services, Inc. All relevant legal aspects surrounding the search based upon a contract conducted in good faith are thoroughly discussed.