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Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole v. Scott


The defendant was released from prison on parole. Subject to that parole, he signed an express consent to search form that permitted parole officers to search his residence without a search warrant. Parole officers, acting on this consent, found evidence of a parole violation and attempted to revoke his parole.


Whether the exclusionary rule applies to parole revocation hearings.


No. There is no substantial societal interest protected by applying the exclusionary rule to parole revocation hearings.


The Court stated that the government’s “use of evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment does not itself violate the Constitution.” The exclusionary rule’s design and intent is to deter illegal searches and seizures but does not “proscribe the introduction of illegally seized evidence in all proceedings or against all persons.” It is only to be employed by the courts where a substantial societal benefit can be obtained. The Court was hesitant to extent the exclusionary rule matters outside of the criminal courtroom because the “[A]pplication of the exclusionary rule would both hinder the functioning of state parole systems and alter the traditionally flexible, administrative nature of parole revocation proceedings.”


524 U.S. 357, 118 S. Ct. 2014 (1998)

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