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Wisconsin regulation forbids a probationer to posses a firearm without probation officers advance approval Syllabus pg3165 Petitioner Joseph G Griffin was convicted of a felony and was on probation when his house was searched for a firearm without a warrant Wisconsin regulation says probationers home probationer being a special needs case can be searched without a warrant on the basis of reasonable grounds as opposed to probable cause The probation officer came to the reasonable grounds conclusion because of an anonymous police tip Griffin contended that his fourth amendment rights had been violated due to reasonableness or lack there of of a warrantless search Probationers home like anyone elses is protected by the Fourth Amendments requirement that searches be reasonable USCA Const Amend 4 pg 3165 The Supreme Court said that reasonable grounds satisfied the Fourth Amendments reasonableness standard for a search A States operation of a probation system like its operation of a school government office or prison or its supervision of a regulated industry likewise presents special needs beyond normal law enforcement that may justify departures from the usual warrant and probable-cause requirements Scalia pg 3168 The Court noted A warrant requirement would interfere to an appreciable degree with the probation system setting up a magistrate rather than the probation officer as the judge of how close a supervision the probationer requires Scalia pg 3170 The Supreme Court ruled five to four in favor of any search of a probationers home by a probation officer is lawful when there are reasonable grounds to believe contraband is present Scalia pg 3172 The conflict in this case is individuals needs ie privacy versus that of public interest ie safety The question the Supreme Court is asking is In special needs cases should there be a lowering of standards from probable cause to reasonable grounds allowing for there to be a warrantless search And they answer yes by upholding Wisconsin Courts ruling that
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