SCOTUS and home sanctity

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Criminal Law

Recently, the Supreme Court released an official opinion in the Caniglia v. Strom case, deeming that the home is considered the most sacred space according to the Fourth Amendment. If you’re a Georgia resident, here are some more important things you should know about home sanctity and criminal law.

The Caniglia v. Strom case

In August 2015, Edward Caniglia offered his wife an unloaded gun and told her to put him out of his misery during an argument the couple was having. However, Caniglia’s wife threatened to call 911. The couple continued arguing and the wife eventually left the home to spend the night at a hotel. Although the argument did not require the need for criminal law enforcement, Caniglia’s wife asked Cranston, Rhode Island’s police department, to go to her home and perform a wellness check on her husband. The police performed the wellness check and arranged for Caniglia to be transported to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Caniglia agreed to go to the hospital but only after the police reportedly agreed not to seize any of these weapons. However, once Caniglia left the home, the police entered and took Caniglia’s handguns and other forms of ammunition.

More on the Caniglia case

Once Caniglia learned that the police seized his weapons, he sued the police department, claiming that the weapon seizure was a violation of his rights according to the Fourth Amendment. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit took the side of the officers due to the principle of warrantless “caretaking” that was made popular in the 1973 Cady case. Criminal law indicates that police officers could take the weapons to eliminate the chance that Caniglia would harm himself, his wife, or other individuals who tried to intervene.