Wife’s consent for home valid when subject objecting after he is arrested and in police car


Orentha James Pea was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment after being convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). On appeal, he contends that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence seized from his estranged wife’s residence. Specifically, he claims that the district court clearly erred in determining that he lacked standing and that his estranged wife was unable to consent to the search of the residence after he refused to allow the police entry. The 5th affirmed.


Regardless of whether Pea was a guest who had standing to challenge the search of his estranged wife’s residence, the search was not improper because it was conducted with his wife’s consent. In Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U.S. 103 (2006), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a physically present co-occupant’s stated refusal to permit entry renders warrantless entry and search unreasonable and invalid as to him.

However, this exception is limited and applies only when the objector is standing in the door saying ‘stay out’ when officers propose to make a consent search. See SCOTUS Fernandez v. California, 571 U.S. 292 (2014). Because Pea objected to the search of his wife’s residence after he was arrested and placed in a police cruiser, he was not physically present at the residence and was unable to override his estranged wife’s consent.

Accordingly, the judgment of the district is AFFIRMED.