The Fourth Amendment precludes police officers from entering a home without a warrant; one of the exceptions to this requirement is when consent to search is given. The Massachusetts Appeals Court addressed the issue of who can consent to a search in the case of Commonwealth v. Richard Santos decided in June of 2020.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE SANTOS CASE
In Santos, the defendant lived in one apartment with her daughter living in the apartment next door. The mother told the police that she owned both apartments. The mom told the police that she sometimes lets her son stay in her daughter’s apartment. the police asked the mother to consent to a search of her daughter’s apartment. The mother granted permission. The Appeals Court addressed the issue of whether the mother had apparent authority to consent to the search of her daughter’s apartment.