Police Abuse

What Third Amendment? SWAT Team Used Woman's Home During Stand-off at Neighbor's House, Didn't Tell Her in Advance

Don't call SWAT soldiers?


don't call them warriors!
Action News Jacksonville

A woman in Jacksonville Florida says a SWAT team commandeered her home while  dealing with a standoff with a neighbor. She says she police came to her house to tell her she couldn't be there, but didn't tell her they would be using the home. Via Action News Jacksonville:

[Deborah] Franz said it all started shortly after overhearing a fight at her neighbor's house across the street Sunday. A short time later, the SWAT team swarmed her neighborhood.

"The cop goes 'You all need to leave, you can't be in your house,'" said Franz.

That happened around 1 p.m. About six hours later, deputies cleared the scene and she went back home. But something was off when she walked through the door.

"I stopped, I froze because I realized somebody had messed with my TV," said Franz.

Franz said her blinds were opened, her Xbox and TV were disconnected, and a drape over her bedroom window was thrown on the floor.

At first she thought it was a burglar but then realized nothing was missing.

That's when she realized it must have been police who invaded her home, and says a phone call to the sheriff's office confirmed it. No biggie, say the experts. Via Action News Jax again:

Wyllie Hodges, who now heads First Coast Crime Stoppers, is a 34-year law enforcement veteran, and he said it doesn't surprise him.

"A SWAT call out is just not a normal police call out. It's just different and the circumstances are mandated or dictated by the situation as it progresses," said Hodges.

Could the Third Amendment apply? SWAT teams aren't soldiers just yet. Maybe you can't say you live in an authoritarian country until the ruling party is sending you to a gulag. The Third Amendment has been invoked in a similar-ish case in Nevada, where police invaded and occupied the Mitchell home while responding to a domestic violence report at a neighbor's house. In Franz's case, she wasn't even afforded the opportunity to attempt to prevent police from taking over her home. She says all she wants is an apology. The sheriff's department would only say that the incident would get the "same scrutiny" for "best practices" all their tactics and operations constantly get.

The only Supreme Court decision relevant to the Third Amendment was Engblom v. Carey, which involved the quartering of national guardsmen in prison employee housing during a prison guard strike. The court ruled the Third Amendment extended to the National Guard as soldiers, and that tenancy was a sufficient condition for the prohibition of quartering to apply. Nevertheless, when the case was returned to a district court, it decided in the favor of the defendants, citing the qualified immunity enjoyed by government employees.

NEXT: J.D. Tuccille on the Right To Take (Even Really Stupid) Risks

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  1. It is clearly a taking. They owe the woman compensation and some measure of due process for it. The cops wanted to use the woman’s home as a base. Okay. The Constitutions allows for the taking of private property for public purpose, with just compensation.

    So the the taxpayers will be paying for this little outrage.

    1. But “best practices”!

    2. But it is not quartering.

      Quartering involves providing not only shelter but also rations and supplies.

      It’s a taking sure, but not a violation of the 3rd ammendment.

      If they ate a pop-tart, however, then execution and death!

      1. Quartering involves providing not only shelter but also rations and supplies.

        It’s the assignment of quarters or lodging, a place to stay. Food and ammo not included.

      2. Quartering involves any government prick using any private property against the will of the owner.

    3. Why isn’t this a trespass?

      1. Because it’s ok to break the law in order to enforce the law. No move along, citizen, nothing to see here.

      2. What? They needed her house for officer safety! Has the whole world gone crazy?!

      3. It should be. But thanks to sovereign immunity it is not.

        We need to get rid of both the exclusionary rule and sovereign immunity. When a cop illegally enters a home, he should be personally liable for both civil damages and criminal penalties. If he finds evidence of a crime there, well it just isn’t your lucky day. But you can take solace that the cop you violated your rights will be sharing a jail cell with you.

        1. But you can take solace that the cop you violated your rights will be sharing a jail cell with you.

          I would watch this sitcom.

        2. My worry when it comes to getting rid of the exclusionary rule is that juries will continue to believe cops and give them the benefit of the doubt, which could lead to cops just doing whatever they want.
          If we got rid of laws criminalizing victimless activities and people figured out that cops lie all the time I could be convinced.

          1. But most of the lying done by cops is to get around the exclusionary rule. If you just let the evidence in, cops would have less reason to lie in court.

            The problem is that my system assumes cops would actually be prosecuted. And that is a pretty optimistic assumption.

            1. But if they are criminally charged with violating your rights, they’ll just lie then too. I still think juries’ credence of cops is going to be a big problem.

              I can see the advantages, though, and it is an idea I will give more thought to.

      4. Why isn’t this a trespass?

        Because I believe the homeowner is a mere peasant and the trespassers had special costumes.

        She’s lucky she’s even allowed to own a home, the ungrateful bitch.

    4. public purpose

      Use, not purpose. That is the same mistake 5 supremes made.

      1. No. The mistake the Supreme made was thinking that giving money to cronies is a public purpose.

  2. She says all she wants is an apology.

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha!

    That’ll be the day! Police giving an apology? That’s like admitting to doing something wrong! OMG that’s funny! Cops admitting to doing wrong? Oh, that’s rich!

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha!

    Fucking unreal! She thinks the police give a shit? Had she refused they would have beaten the shit out of her and trashed the place just to show her a lesson!

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha!


    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha!

    1. She won’t get an apology. She will get a check from the taxpayers after a year or so of litigation.

  3. Why did SCOTUS return the case to district court in Engblom? And why did the district court not heed SCOTUS’s ruling? And was an appeal heard? And WTF?

  4. A SWAT team isn’t a group of soldiers, despite that they might think so.

    1. Well, they don’t exactly qualify as “Peace Officers” do they?

  5. Posse Comitatus guarantees that the troops that invade your home are NOT military. No matter how heavily armed and what sort of military tactics they may use, they are NOT military. Therefore, Third Amendment doesn’t apply.

  6. She says all she wants is an apology.

    Sorry lady, but sue the fuck out of those bastards. This shit needs to be stopped, or it’s only going to become more common. Once other police departments discover they can get away with taking over people’s homes, they’ll all start doing it.

    The sheriff’s department would only say that the incident would get the “same scrutiny” for “best practices” all their tactics and operations constantly get.

    “Procedures will be reviewed and updated… training will be administered… nothing to see here, move along.”

    1. You want to stop illegal and immoral raids on peaceful people? Shoot the cop and find a jury moral enough to recognize that special costumes don’t entitle others to your life, liberty and property.

      1. Only once cops realize that they face actual consequences for their actions, will it stop. And I don’t mean administrative consequences, or paid vacation consequences, but consequences with the same magnitude that they regularly inflict on others.

  7. Nevertheless, when the case was returned to a district court, it decided in the favor of the defendants, citing the qualified immunity enjoyed by government employees.

    Hang on, so the Third Amendment (meant solely to restrict government) was overridden by governmental immunity? Something smells funny here.

    1. You’re smelling the shit dripping off the Constitution.

    2. Yeah, are you and I reading that correctly? Federal employees get qualified immunity against laws designed to limit federal employees’ permissible actions?

      1. Otherwise known as the “FYTW” clause.

  8. Absent declared Marshall law, I don’t see how they force you to leave your home in the first place nor do I see how they can legally enter your home without a warrant? At the most I could see them having the right to be on your property if necessary for access to a crime scene. It might get a little more complicated if you shared adjoining walls but other then that no.

    1. Yeah, that’s my question too. “Leave your house.”

      Fuck you. Under what authority? Oh, that’s right, fuck you that’s why.

      1. That’s when the beat the shit out of you and your family, charge you with Obstruction among other things, do what they were going to do anyway, and then destroy everything of value on their way out just to show you a lesson.

        And nothing else will happen.

        1. Pretty much, though you missed the “shoot your dog” part too.

          1. That could fall under the general heading of “destroy everything if value.”

              1. I hope the police office (jack booted thug) who shoots my dog has already made his final arrangements.

                1. I don’t even like dogs, and if any cop ever shoots anything that belongs to me, I will slaughter them. Even for antique cans.


        1. The only thing strong in Boston is the smell.

          1. MATT DAMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      3. I’m very interested to know what would have happened if that had been her reaction.

        Would they really be so brazen as to beat/arrest her and do it anyway?

        Does the fact that there’s a decent chance they actually would mean we’ve already lost?

        1. She would have been forcibly restrained at the very least.

        2. She would have been arrested for Obstruction of Justice at the very least. And had she offered any resistance she would have certainly been beaten, because it is standard practice for armed state agents in armor to beat unarmed women who do not immediately obey them.

          1. I think they have also started sexually assaulting the women.

          2. I’m not sure there would be an obstruction of justice charge if she had refused. It begs the question of whether the police have this authority/she has a legal duty to obey.

            Show me the statute giving cops this authority and imposing a duty to obey, and we can talk. Absent that, though, I’m not seeing it.

            And yes, I had this argument and won it when cops were trying to order my ER nurses to draw blood from a non-consenting patient. On my instruction, they refused. There was some grumbling about “obstruction of justice”, but no statutory basis for the order itself.

            So, NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED. In a good way, for once.

            1. Yes, but in the hospital there are too many witnesses to intimidate or overwhelm.

              In your house, it’s your word against 5 – 10 cops.

              1. Video feed, uploaded to a remote server. With sentry guns when I’m not home.

        3. It’s all part of the government’s outsourcing of costs. Whether it’s making banks do all sorts of policing for the government on their own dime, or commandeering someone’s house for a police investigation. They can’t afford all the policing they want to do, so they just forcibly make non-governmental operators shoulder the costs for them. Another stealth tax, yay!

          1. Cop: “Sir, we understand that you own a registered firearm.”
            Non-Cop: “Y-y-y-es, am I in trouble for some reason?”
            Cop: “No, sir, unless you want to confess to something. What we’d like you to do is to take your firearm and raid this house [hands over paper with address on it]. Thank you, sir.”

          2. I should find the time to estimate the value of work associated with the collection of withholdings.

            1. I would guess that it’s a staggeringly high number. It is for the banks, from what I’ve heard from bank employees.

      4. I agree. And I have no doubt if this woman had done that, these baboons would have tazered her, beat the shit out of her or worse. But she would have her pride at least and she would be getting a huge fucking check care of the tax payers.

        I wouldn’t let these fuckers in my house. This would end ugly. But you can’t blame this women for rolling over. I am sure they barged in. Had she attacked them or made any effort to stop them they would have at a minimum done her serious physical harm and arrested her and might have just murdered her.

        It takes a lot of courage to volunteer for the beating, trip to jail and maybe death, these animals would have happily dealt out had she said no.

        1. You could just indicate you will not prevent them from entering but you do not consent to their presence on your property. 50/50 chance it avoids bloodshed then.

          1. That is what you do. Tell them no and make them walk in over your objections. Once they are in, just worry about getting your pets and your family as far away from them as possible as quickly as you can. The point at which they come in over your objection, they will be smelling blood and be at their most dangerous.

          2. I’d play it a little different. I wouldn’t say out loud that I will not prevent them, etc.

            I would just say “I do not consent to this seizure of my property. I object to your presence on my property. Do you have a court order directing me to allow this? No? Under what authority do you seize my property, then?”

            I would continue to stand in the door and say “I object” until they shoved me out of the way. I would offer only passive physical resistance. That shove, though, is going to be worth a lot of money someday.

            I would then gather up my dogs and other valuables not in the safe, and leave.

            1. You left out the part where you light the gasoline that you have packed in the crawl space.

        2. I actually don’t think they would assault you if you said, “Respectfully, I do not intend to leave my home without a court order. Respectfully, I do not consent to you entering my home without a search warrant.”

          Then slowly start trying to close the door and lock it.

          They might make you move out and take over the house anyway, and it would not behoove you to resist that other than suing them after the fact, but if the message was delivered politely I think they wouldn’t immediately escalate to beating you.

          They did something similar during some recent tsunami warnings, forcing people out of their homes who wear in the alleged flood zone (the actual “tsunami” waves were like two inches higher than normal waves).

          Dunno if anyone defied the police then, and if so, if they were successful in staying in their homes.

          1. If you did that, they would most likely just kick the door down. If you stood in their way, they would push you aside and probably arrest you for interfering with a peace officer. If you resisted them as they pushed you aside, they would certainly beat the living shit out of you and arrest you for assaulting a cop and resisting arrest. If you resisted the beating, they would certainly beat you bad enough to go to t he hospital and might kill you.

            1. Don’t open the door in the first place. And don’t have an “openable” door.

          2. Harry Truman (not the president, the other Harry Truman) approved this message.

      1. Terry Tate, office linebacker, law?

    2. That’s my question too. Maybe suggest that things are dangerous and you might want to leave, but without a warrant, how can they say you have to?

      I’m not as convinced as some seem to be that she would have been arrested or brutalized had she refused. Perhaps I am naif. I hope I never have to find out.


  10. I’m assuming she doesn’t own a dog, since if she did would have come home to find her house trashed and her dead dog lying on the floor.

  11. Could the Third Amendment apply?

    It was for her own good. They rescued that woman from a potential terrorist attack situation.

    The nerve of some people.

  12. …citing the qualified immunity enjoyed by government employees.

    Qualified, my ass. The immunity is pretty much absolute at this point.

    1. ^This. What exactly are the qualifications confering immunity that are left.

  13. I feel bad for this lady, as I do for all victims of police violence and excess, but at the same time, I’m really pissed at her, because she’s part of the problem.

    A bunch of cops showed up at her door and told her to leave without any explanation, and she’s just kind of like, “OK!” without any pushback? And later she finds out those same police illegally invaded her home, but she doesn’t want any kind of punishment for them or guarantee that this won’t happen again, just a worthless “apology”.

    Lady, what the fuck do you think it is that allows these things to happen!?

    1. Are you volunteering to be a martyr?

      If these guys had shown up, I would have knuckled under too; the risk that the state would hand my kids over to my ex-wife’s tender ministrations is too high if the cops decide to wreck my life is too high.

      1. I would have respectfully and politely refused once, making it clear that if they insist on entering and making me vacate, it is not with my consent.

        Resisting them actually entering my home after that? No, that would be inviting a beatdown or worse.

    2. She should be calling for these assholes’ heads. But when you consider how dangerous and violent these people are, you can’t blame her for rolling over and letting them in. I have not doubt they would have killed her had she put up enough of a fight or one of the trigger happy apes accidentally cacked off a round.

    3. You think you are coming in my door because Bob and Alice next door are at it again? Do yourself a favor, forget we ever met.

      1. To put this into context, I dedicated a few hundred hours of my life over the course of a decade to ruining the life of a guy who crossed me. I got my mark and then some. If I’m willing to do that to someone over a little credit card fraud whom I was pretty apathetic about outside of a particular matter, imagine the relish I would put into fucking over an agent of the state.

          1. That’s the problem with most of you proles. You take the shit, and when they are done you ask them if they can piss in your mouth to wash it down.

            1. The problem with the cops, is that they can just kill you if you make things too hard on them. Or get another jurisdictions “heroes” to do it.

              1. You see, my perspective about this is, he would have no other choice but to kill me if he wants any semblance to normalcy restored in his life.

          2. Besides its kind of a funny matter, in a way. I was curious about the world of flea market vendors and tailed one around for a few weeks one summer who hawked African American related goods. A few months later I get a nick on my credit card for a couple of dozen Toni Morrison novels from a book club operation. I knew exactly who did it, the idiot. Anyway, without getting too specific, I crashed a bit of mortgage fraud he attempted a few years later. He wound up owing sixty odd thousand dollars to keep his ass out of jail. Lulz!!!!!

            1. The decade part comes from, even after that, I kept tabs on him for a while to make sure he was behaving like a good boy.

        1. “I dedicated a few hundred hours of my life over the course of a decade to ruining the life of a guy who crossed me.”

          More details please!

          1. Right above ya!

            1. Is this also how you became KillazOnTheRun?

  14. “A SWAT call out is just not a normal police call out.”

    No, we usually only send in SWAT teams for non-violent “crimes.”

    1. The only thing the cops put in harm’s way is anyone who keeps them from using their toys.

  15. Read your homeowner’s insurance policy very carefully. They often expempt damages by agenta.of.the state in their lawful duties from coverage. For.this.reason.alone it.would be a terrible.idea to.ever.consent.to police.using.your.property.

    1. You should never consent. If you consent, you might not get compensated. Voice your objection clearly and make them barge in over your objection and then walk away and sue.

      Whatever you do, don’t get into with these animals. They will kill you either through incompetence or panic. And they certainly will arrest you and leave you to rot for a couple of days before you get to see a judge for pretty much any reason, including for fun.

      1. Oh yes. Object.but.do.not interfere. Record.the whole.thing.if.you.can.or.get.a.witness. call an attorney immediately, while.it.is.happening, if.possible.

        You won’t win.if.you fight them right then. You have a.chance if.you do it all legally.

        1. Exactly. Do your fighting in a courtroom, where there are a ton of witnesses and beating you is not gonna fly.

          Make it verbally clear that you don’t consent, but don’t resist beyond that.

    2. The problem is you have a bunch of armed men with the authority of the state “asking” you to comply. Saying consent was given is like saying a car jacker recieved consent to go joy riding in your car.

      1. And of course they will just say you gave consent. Consent should have to be in writing at the least, otherwise it should be presumed not to have been freely given.

        1. Even that may not be enough. I’m not saying they’re far enought gone to tell someone that their brains or their signature will be on the paper, yet. But when you are dealing with agents of the state a certain amount of coercion must be assumed just by the circumstances.

          1. Oh, agreed. The absence of written consent should be a presumption against the police, but the presence of the same should not be a presumption of consent, the citizen should still be able to argue coercion.

    3. Yeah, I’ve read it before. Pretty much anything caused by a local government, including water and sewer systems, is not typically covered by home insurance. Heck, they even throw shit in there about acts of war and bombings.

      1. Force majeure is never covered.

      2. My favorite.was the specific exemption for damage due.to.nuclear attack.

  16. One of the things that bugs me about this kind of thing is that there is a lot of debate about whether the police actions violated this or that restriction on them, or suggestions about what kind of restrictions we might want to enact, when what we really should be asking is ‘by what power can the police do this?’ The onus should be on the state when they act in this kind of way.

    1. Yes. “We followed procedures” is not reassuring.

      1. I followed procedures, what do you mean I’m fired for running that guy over with a forklift? In ny other context following procedures is not a sufficent defense.

    2. Government shouldn’t be able to do anything without express authority, but that ship has sailed.

  17. Exigent circumstances trump everything in the modern era and good luck finding a court to rule otherwise.

    1. Yeah. There are few terms that courts have more thoroughly and consistently raped than “exigent”. It really is a case study in the slippery slope. We went from “the cop can come in to save you from a kidnapper or pull you from your burning house” to “officer safety and new professionalism…”

      1. Fuck, cops now actively thwart people from.running back into their burning homes to save their children. Why would they run in to.save you?

        1. They haven’t always been animals.

  18. The court ruled the Third Amendment extended to the National Guard as soldiers, and that tenancy was a sufficient condition for the prohibition of quartering to apply. Nevertheless, when the case was returned to a district court, it decided in the favor of the defendants, citing the qualified immunity enjoyed by government employees.

    -The gov’t is prohibited from the quartering of troops in private homes by the 3A.
    -Soldiers are gov’t employees.
    -Gov’t employees have qualified immunity.
    -Those with qualified immunity cannot be held liable for their infringement of constitutional or statutory law.
    -Constitutional and statutory law does not apply to government employees.
    -There are no constraints on the power of gov’t employees. The Constitution does not apply due to qualified immunity.
    -It’s the government’s world. You’re just living in it.

    Corollary: FYTW

    1. Those with qualified immunity cannot be held liable for their infringement of constitutional or statutory law.

      Yes they can and quite often are. The law just has to be clear.

    2. Rights are what you have when you don’t need them, and what you don’t, when you do.

  19. 3rd 4th and 9th

  20. I would say that this is more of a fifth amendment issue than a third amendment issue. The home invaders deprived the victim of the use of her own home, without due process of law.


  21. SWAT teams can do whatever they deem necessary because, shut up.

  22. You’re god damn right I can be in my house no matter what pig says I can’t.

  23. As I’ve said many times before, the Third Amendment is not a suicide pact.

  24. Land of the free and home of the brave? What a freak’n laugh line that has become. This is a country heavily populated with sheeple.

    Why would anyone join the military? What the Hell is worth defending? If Mexico invades and takes over California, why would anyone possibly care?

    If Al Qaeda tears up NYC again, so what? The people that reside there don’t value freedom, so why should anyone defend the putrid place?

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