Family: Cops Violated Our ... 3rd Amendment Rights?

They say officers were 'quartering' at their house

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 9, 2013 2:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – The first, second, fourth, and fifth amendments are pretty well-known—but when's the last time you cited the third amendment? As a refresher, it states that "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law"—and a family in Nevada is using the rare legal argument in a lawsuit against police. The Mitchells say that, in July 2011, Henderson city police called to say that they needed to use Anthony Mitchell's home as part of a domestic violence surveillance operation. (A neighbor had barricaded himself in his home with a baby, Fox 5 explains.) According to the lawsuit: Anthony Mitchell wouldn't leave, police broke down the door and forced him to the ground at gunpoint, used pepper spray on him and his dog, then arrested him and commandeered his home.

The lawsuit also claims the police occupied the nearby home of Mitchell's parents Linda and Michael, Fox News reports. Michael was also eventually arrested for not cooperating with police, but all charges against the Mitchells have since been dropped. The family's lawyer explains why he thinks the amendment applies: Police used military-style maneuvers, and "after entering the houses, they drank water, ate food, enjoyed the air conditioning. That struck me as quartering." He adds that they also "left food on the floor." The family is suing for an undisclosed sum, and says their fourth amendment (freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures) and 14th amendment (due process) rights were also violated.

  (Shutterstock)
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