MICHIGAN V. SUMMERS, 452 U. S. 692 (1981)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Michigan v. Summers, 452 U.S. 692 (1981)

Michigan v. Summers

No. 79-1794

Argued February 25, 1981 -- Decided June 22, 1981

452 U.S. 692


When police officers executing a warrant to search a house for narcotics encountered respondent descending the front steps, they requested his assistance in gaining entry and detained him while they searched the premises. After finding narcotics and ascertaining that respondent owned the house, the police arrested him, searched his person, and found heroin in his coat pocket. Respondent, who was charged with possession of the heroin found on his person, moved to suppress the heroin as the product of an illegal search in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The trial judge granted the motion and quashed the information, and both the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court affirmed.

Held: The initial detention of respondent, which constituted a "seizure" and was assumed to be unsupported by probable cause, did not violate his constitutional right to be secure against an unreasonable seizure of his person. For Fourth Amendment purposes, a warrant to search for contraband founded on probable cause implicitly carries with it the limited authority to detain the occupants of the premises while a proper search is conducted. Because it was lawful to require respondent to reenter and to remain in the house until evidence establishing probable cause to arrest him was found, his arrest and the search incident thereto were constitutionally permissible. Pp. 452 U. S. 694-705.

407 Mich. 432, 286 N.W.2d 226, reversed.

STEVENS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J.,and WHITE, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. STEWART, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BRENNAN and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 452 U. S. 706.

Page 452 U. S. 693

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