Ray v. Township of Warren, 09-4353 - U.S. Third Circuit
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Ray v. Township of Warren, 09-4353

Caretaking community exception to warrantless entry

Ray v. Township of Warren, 09-4353, concerned a plaintiff's Fourth Amendment claim under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against several police officers, claiming that the officers violated his Fourth Amendment right against unlawful searches when they entered his home while investigating concerns expressed by his estranged wife about their daughter.

In affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the officers based on qualified immunity, the court held that the officers were acting out of concern for the well-being of the couple's young daughter, and, for that reason, it cannot be said that they acted unreasonably in mistakenly believing that they were permitted to enter the house pursuant to the unclear boundaries of the community caretaking exception at that time.

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