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"Open Up! It's the Police!"

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 1997 Pages: 18-22
Edward X. Clinton Jr.
Date Published
5 pages
This is a guide to litigation under the Federal "knock and announce" statute.
Section 3109 of title 18 of the United States Code, commonly known as the “knock and announce” statute, requires Federal officers executing a search warrant to knock on the door and announce their presence and purpose for entering before they can enter a “house.” The statute does not define the term “house,” and it is unclear whether businesses and apartments are covered by the term. The statute does not mention the remedy for a violation and does not define who has standing to contest the failure to knock and announce. The article provides practitioners with a guide to litigation under the statute. It covers: (1) standing; (2) whether the place searched is a dwelling; (3) whether the statute applies only to Federal officers; (4) how long officers must wait after they knock and announce; (5) whether the statute applies when the front door of a residence is open; and (6) the exigent circumstances exception.


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