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Mapp v. Ohio


Three police officers arrived at the defendant’s home pursuant to information that “a person [was] hiding out in the home, who was wanted for questioning in connection with a recent bombing, and that there was a large amount of policy paraphernalia being hidden in the home.” The officers knocked on the door and demanded entry. The defendant, after telephoning her attorney, refused to admit them without a search warrant.

zThree hours later, the officers (now with four additional officers) again sought entry. When the defendant did not immediately come to the door, the officers forcibly opened at least one door to the house. Upon confronting the defendant, she demanded to see the search warrant. One officer held up a paper claimed to be a warrant. The defendant grabbed the “warrant” and placed it in her bosom. A struggle followed in which the officers recovered the piece of paper. They handcuffed the defendant because she had been “belligerent” in resisting their official rescue of the “warrant” from her person. Running roughshod over the defendant, a police officer “grabbed” her, “twisted” [her] hand, and she “yelled [and] pleaded with him” because “it was hurting.” The officers discovered the obscene materials for which she was ultimately convicted of possessing in the course of a widespread search. At trial, the officers produced no search warrant, nor was the failure to produce one explained.


Whether the Fourth Amendment applies to state actions?


Yes. The Supreme Court made the Fourth Amendment and the exclusionary rule applicable to the states.


The Fourth Amendment right of privacy is enforceable against state actions through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. State officers were now regulated by the restrictions found in the Fourth Amendment.


367 U.S. 643, 81 S. Ct 1684 (1961)

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