Is It Possible for Authorities to “Raid” Your Home in Full Combat Gear?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on March 14, 2014

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You’d have to be the world’s worst serial killer for law enforcement to even think about whether or not that warrant for a search and seizure is necessary. Come to think of it – even if you were Jeffrey Dahmer living in his home, the law does state you have a right to privacy and sovereignty in your home. It means no authority at all can enter your home without a written warrant or your permission. Plain and simple. That adage, though, seemed to have been forgotten with this case involving a lawyer by the name of Sheldon Feigel who search and seizure-2opened the door of his house and found a bunch of commandoes trying to burst through his door, fully armed and ready to aim crosshairs.

Why were they there, do you ask? Nothing big, really – they just wanted to seize some case files relevant to a particular alleged scheme of fraudulent adverse possession of which Feigel was supposedly directly responsible. We can understand, though, the magnitude of this case, as it revolved around such a scandal involving title acquisition through false evidence and court records. However, the law has a funny way of going about things, in that there’s the innocent until proven guilty adage. Why were they storming his home then?

Many would say that it’s an illegal search and seizure, and those many would be correct in saying so. Once armed officers showed up at 6:30AM on January 15th, Feigel reported that he was detained throughout the day without the natural right to speak to an attorney. Call that one “screw-up number 2,” for sure. Needless to say, his three teenage children must’ve been distraught beyond belief, as normally you wouldn’t find SWAT-like team members ransacking through the home, belongings, nooks and crannies. It’s truly a basic violation unlike anything else, all without a warrant.

What has Fiegel done in response – he’s filed a $1MM lawsuit against the state of California for the unreasonable search and seizure, damages for assault and emotional distress. Regardless of whether Feigel is guilty or not, bear this important point in mind: you have the right to the privacy of your home. No one can barge in with a “hunch” unless it’s backed up with a warrant of some kind. Period.

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