Pennington v. West Virginia

Brief of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner

Brief filed: 03/09/2023


Pennington v. West Virginia

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 22-747


This case squarely and cleanly presents an important constitutional question: When may police lawfully enter a home to search for the subject of an arrest warrant? State and federal courts of appeals are deeply divided on the question left open in Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573 (1980), whether, to enter a home to execute an arrest warrant, police must have probable cause to believe that the suspect resides there and will be found there, or whether some lesser degree of suspicion passes constitutional muster. The question is not academic. This case and numerous others demonstrate that the level of suspicion required to justify entry into a home is often outcome-determinative, with cascading consequences for the individuals whose homes are searched.


Daniel B. Levin, Sara H. Worth, and Leigh E. Kramer, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, Los Angeles, CA.

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