Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

OSJCL Amici Board of Advisors

OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field

Pearson v. Callahan

  • Decided on January 21, 2009.
  • Background: The defendant was arrested for distribution of drugs when he sold drugs to an undercover informant who the defendant invited into his house, but his conviction was vacated because police entered his house without a warrant. After his release, the defendant brought a §1983 action against the police who entered his house without a warrant. The defendants argued that they were protected by “consent once-removed” doctrine, which permits warrant-less police entry when the defendant has invited an undercover officer into his home. However, this doctrine does not apply when the individual invited into the home is simply an informant, not an undercover officer.
  • Holding: The police were entitled to qualified immunity because it was not clearly established at the time of the search that their conduct was unconstitutional.



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