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State v. Chilson

August 24, 2007

STATE OF KANSAS, APPELLANT,
v.
JARED L. CHILSON, APPELLEE.



Appeal from Jackson District Court; GARY L. NAFZIGER, judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. When reviewing a district court's ruling on a motion to suppress, the appellate court determines whether the factual underpinnings of the decision are supported by substantial competent evidence. The court exercises de novo review of the ultimate legal conclusion drawn from those facts. To the extent the facts material to the district court's decision are not in dispute, the question of whether to suppress is purely a question of law over which the appellate court has unlimited review.

2. The State bears the burden to demonstrate that a challenged search or seizure was lawful.

3. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and § 15 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights generally prohibit the warrantless entry of a person's home. The prohibition does not apply, however, to situations in which voluntary consent has been obtained, either from the individual whose property is searched, or from a third party who possesses, or who reasonably appears to possess, common authority over the premises.

4. Pursuant to Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U.S. 103, 164 L. Ed. 2d 208, 126 S. Ct. 1515 (2006), a physically present co-occupant's explicit refusal to permit entry into a shared residence renders a warrantless entry and search unreasonable and invalid as to the co-occupant, even though another present resident consented to the search.

5. Under the facts of this case, in the absence of evidence that the defendant, who was being held outside his residence, expressly objected to the search, or that officers specifically removed him from the home for the sake of avoiding a possible objection, consent to search given by the defendant's father satisfied the consent exception to the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against warrantless searches and seizures.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Caplinger, J.

Reversed and remanded.

Before CAPLINGER, P.J., ELLIOTT, J., and BUKATY, S.J.

In this interlocutory appeal, the State challenges the district court's order granting defendant Jared Chilson's motion to suppress drug evidence discovered in a search of the residence Chilson shared with his father. Relying upon Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U.S. 103, 164 L.Ed. 2d 208, 126 S.Ct. 1515 (2006), Chilson argues his father's consent to search the shared residence was invalid and the resulting warrantless entry and search unreasonable, because Chilson, who was detained nearby, was not given an opportunity to refuse consent.

We hold that in the absence of evidence that the defendant expressly objected to the search, or that officers specifically removed him from the home for the sake of avoiding a possible objection, the consent to search given by the defendant's father satisfied the consent exception to the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against warrantless searches and seizures. We thus reverse the district court's order and remand to the district court for further proceedings.

Factual and Procedural Background

Twenty-two-year-old defendant Jared Chilson (Chilson) lived at home with his father, Robert Chilson. Chilson had his own bedroom and access to a shared bathroom.

On July 12, 2004, the Jackson County Sheriff's dispatcher received a report of a domestic disturbance at the Chilson residence. The dispatcher's notes indicate: "[Robert Chilson is] w/son Jarod [sic]--thinks he is doing [narcotics] when dad ...


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