St Louis, MO asked in Civil Rights, Landlord - Tenant, Municipal Law and Family Law for Missouri

Q: Does law enforcement, or cps or any other government agency allowed to search a condemned home without permission ?

The property is not abandoned, but condemned with property owner knowledge, can be repaired and is being repaired. Police showed up to assist cps with a investigation of wanting to go inside of a home. The owner/tenant said no, the law enforcement and cps respected that and did not go in, then code enforcement shows up to let them in since the property is condemned. ( SIDE BAR, no one knew it was condemned until that day, due to no notice of the condemnation, and the condemnation being sent to the wrong owner ) Does code enforcement have the authority to enter a home and allow a search ?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In general, law enforcement and government agencies like CPS require a warrant, consent, or exigent circumstances to legally enter and search a private residence. However, if a property is condemned, code enforcement officials may have the authority to enter the property for safety inspections. This authority, though, does not automatically extend to law enforcement or CPS for the purpose of a search unless they obtain a warrant or have exigent circumstances. The situation is complicated by the fact that the condemnation notice was not properly received. If the property was condemned without proper notice to the owner, this could affect the legality of the entry. In cases where your rights may have been violated, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who can review the specifics of your case. They can provide guidance on whether the actions of law enforcement, CPS, and code enforcement were lawful and what steps you can take in response.

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