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Search and Seizure — community caretaker function

Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Search and Seizure — community caretaker function

Where officers investigating a domestic disturbance interviewed the only two persons who were apparently present, the community caretaker function did not justify a warrantless search of the home.

“The facts demonstrate that the officers responded to an apparent domestic disturbance involving only Maddix and the female. Based on the circumstances with which they were presented, the officers, in lawfully entering the apartment and separately interviewing the two persons who appeared to be the only persons in the apartment, properly exercised their community caretaker function and achieved the purpose for which they were dispatched. Both persons gave the same basic account and the female acknowledged screaming. The female’s failure to explain why she was afraid did not provide a basis to objectively conclude, based on the totality of the facts known to the officers at the time, that anyone else was in the apartment so as to require the officers to engage in their community caretaker function.”

Reversed and Remanded.

Recommended for publication in the official reports.

2012AP1632-CR State v. Maddix

Dist. III, Marathon County, Huber, J., Kloppenburg, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Phillips, Steven D., Madison; For Respondent: Heimerman, Kenneth J., Wausau; Burgundy, Sarah, Madison

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