When is a Parent’s Authority Apparent? Reconsidering Third Party Consent Searches of an Adult Child’s Private Bedroom and Property
Jason C. Miller
affiliation not provided to SSRN
January 30, 2010
Criminal Justice, Vol. 24, pp. 34-37, Winter 2010
The question of a parent’s authority to consent to the search of the room or property of a minor child is not difficult. But whether a parent’s consent is enough to satisfy the Fourth Amendment in the search of an adult child’s private bedroom, and the property in that room, is a more difficult question. Some courts have applied a presumption of control to parent-child relationships regardless of the age or situation, while others have recognized that such a presumption is not appropriate in all circumstances.
Because there are different kinds of parent-child relationships and different relationships between parents and their adult child’s private bedroom and closed containers within the parent’s home, this paper argues that courts should not apply a presumption of control between parents and their adult children and require police to develop at least some understanding of the situation before accepting a parent's consent to search an adult child's private room and property.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: Fourth Amendment, apparent authority, consent, parent-child relationship
Date posted: January 7, 2010 ; Last revised: January 30, 2010