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If police were to knock on my door, am I required to answer? Assuming they do not have a warrants and no one is in danger etc.

Seattle, WA |

Assuming the following:
-- They have no warrant, and
There are no drugs or guns or weapons
No one is in danger
No loud music or disturbing things
It's perfectly peacefully quiet
I'm not wanted or anything

Do I have to answer them?
What is the best thing to say?

I want to be prepared in case it happens. Since my landlord says he wants to call the police (for no reason actually, but I'm sure he'll make something up). He's trying to scare me out of the house with a bunch of threats because I won't pay him extortion money (basically the extortion is along these lines: "pay me money for these broken things that aren't actually broken, or you have to move out").

Can I just sit quietly in my room?
Or put in headphones?
Or pretend they aren't there?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

No. But the landlord will just call them again if that is the case. Sitting in your room pretending the landlord isn't calling the police is not really a way to solve a problem. You might want to contact your local bar association and see if the have a community mediation program. These are often free or low cost, and a mediator could sit down with you and your landlord and try to help you resolve the problem before it escalates out of control.

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******

Asker

Posted

I have already decided that I am moving within a couple of days. I just don't want to be bothered and want a peaceful exit.

Asker

Posted

If they come back another time, should I call a lawyer?

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

A lawyer can't do anything for you just because the police knock on your door. If they arrest you, come into your apartment, or there is otherwise some damage for which there is a remedy at law you could call a lawyer. You don't have to talk to them.

Asker

Posted

yep, they came, i didn't answer, they went away. since no law was broken and there was no mitigating circumstances, they don't have any rights to break in the door.

Asker

Posted

The dumb ass landlord changed his tone after he tried to call the police on me and they didn't do anything when I didn't answer the door.

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

Well, I'm glad things are working out.

Posted

This isn't a hypothetical type of website--there are many blogs and other websites devoted to commentary related to the hypo you described. Reommend you find one of those sites and make your hypothetical the topic of discussion.

As a general rule, if police believe an exigent situation is ongoing, or evidence may be destroyed--you can rest assured they will be letting themselves in, and they will be very put out finding you in the apartment--you can expect a bit of rough treatment (setting aside for discussion whether that is 'right' or 'wrong') and perhaps an arrest for obstruction.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

Asker

Posted

Definitely no exigent situations going on, and no reason for evidence as no crime has been committed.

Robert M Lorey

Robert M Lorey

Posted

Mr. Rafter has the correct perspective on this matter. Whatever you say is true in your hypothetical is not really relevant. What the police officers reasonably believe to be the truth will control the case and determine the legality and probity of their actions. If the landlord tells them something and that is all that they know, whatever the landlord says will control the officer's actions. Not presenting your side of the story is not going to be a long term solution to the problem. It sounds like it is (long-past) time to start looking for a new place to live.

Posted

I agree with the previous answers and if the cops have a warrant or probable cause wearing your headphones is not a defense. You do not have to answer questions, you can call your attorney and you can ask to see the warrant. If you know there is an issue coming up put a lawyer ( hopefully in your neighborhood) on retainer who will show up quickly when your landlord actually causes an issue for you.
Good Luck

If this answer was helpful, please mark as helpful below. Please be sure to indicate the best answer Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes

Asker

Posted

Duh there was no warrant, nor would there be. Landlord was merely harassing me.

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