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Can a parole officer search roommates locked rooms?

Grand Forks, ND |

I will be put on probation soon and my roommates drink under age. They are concerned that their rooms will be searched while I am on probation. Can they search separate locked rooms?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. The police can search anywhere they have reason to believe the parolee has access to. Case law is clear that people who live with parolees cannot "reasonably expect privacy" in shared areas of the residence. That being said, the police cannot search areas that are occupied or controlled exclusively by the cotenant. The officers cannot search locked rooms that you don't have access to. If your roommates are home, they can refuse entry into their private locked rooms.

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  2. How about a LOCKED SAFE?

    U.S. v. Bolivar - Primer on Parolee Search. Suspect caught with combination to safe contained in parolee's closet. Probable cause location of address only. Re-recites United States v.
    Davis, 932 F.2d 752, 758 (9th Cir. 1991), “reasonable suspicion” that the probationer
    owned, controlled, or possessed an item (here where probationer also probably had the safe combination.

    Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.

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