Swear to God, same thing happened to me! Go to a party on a Saturday night, cops bust in, homeowner claims to “know nothing”, everybody gets busted and goes down to the police station. Officers make arrests for trespassing, since the homeowner dummies up. That is basically the fact pattern from District of Columbia v. Westby, to be argued in the Supreme Court soon. However, there is no crime of “trespassing” if there is nothing to suggest that that the partygoers knew or should have known that they were entering against the owner’s will. The arrested folks brought a lawsuit against the arresting officers for false arrest, they won a judgment, and the DC police brought the case to the Supreme Court, arguing that its officers had probable cause under the Fourth Amendment to make the arrests.
Westby is a bit more interesting, and salacious, than my aborted party that one Saturday eons ago. First, there was someone named either “Peaches” or “Tasty” identified by some of the partiers as the person who told them about the shindig. Also, when the cops arrived, some of the women were selling lap dances, some had money hanging out from their undergarments, and most shockingly, the officers smelled marijuana. Continue Reading