PDA

View Full Version : Shared Living Space with a Roommate


The Original Godfather
08-03-2010, 9:38 PM
Hey guys.

I have a roommate in a house I'm renting. My roommate is on probation and cannot have firearms in his residence. The grey area is that his lease is for a bedroom inside the house, not the house itself.

My question is: would the presence of my firearm in a shared living space (living room, kitchen, etc.) violate his probation? Of course, my firearm would only be present in a shared living space with me there... To my understanding, it would only be in violation if the firearm was actually inside the bedroom he is renting...


Thanks!

socal2310
08-03-2010, 10:17 PM
Hey guys.

I have a roommate in a house I'm renting. My roommate is on probation and cannot have firearms in his residence. The grey area is that his lease is for a bedroom inside the house, not the house itself.

My question is: would the presence of my firearm in a shared living space (living room, kitchen, etc.) violate his probation? Of course, my firearm would only be present in a shared living space with me there... To my understanding, it would only be in violation if the firearm was actually inside the bedroom he is renting...


Thanks!

If your roommate is on probation, the burden of proof would be on him to prove that he is in compliance. He's likely to get popped (assuming he has probation search terms) unless your firearms are always either locked in a safe or on your person. Firearms behind a locked bedroom door might be adequate, but that could be pushing it (do you always remember to lock the door when you leave?).

Ryan

BillCA
08-03-2010, 10:46 PM
Yup... ensure your bedroom door is always closed & locked when you leave the room. I would also make sure that you store any firearm(s) in a safe or security container firmly anchored to something. Lastly, if he signed any part of the lease agreement, draw up an addendum between the two of you. In that addendum, he acknolwedges that he has no legal access to your room whatever, except in emergencies. If you are the primary leaseholder, then add in that you reserve the right to inspect his room any time after you give him a 24 hour notice or for any maintenance or contractual issues (i.e. removing foil from his window or fixing plumbing, electrics, etc.)

This does a couple of things. It officially isolates his room from your and limits your access/knowledge of what is in there. More importantly, if he's on parole or gets into a jam with the cops who want to search, he cannot legally give consent to search your room. That's because it's legally off limits to him and locked. He may consent to a search of the common areas you both share -- kitchen, living/dining/bath rooms -- and his own room. It also prevents you from consenting to a search of his room since it is likewise off limits to you.

If you install a lockable door knob or other lock on your bedroom door, do not allow him access to a key, not even on the household keys hook. To do so might let a DA get creative with "constructive possession" rules. And obviously never let him have access to the safe keys/combo.

This may help greatly if it ever comes to a legal battle. If police are told that he has no access to the room - even if you're there with the bedroom door open - and they search anyway, lawyers can make an issue out of it.

MindBuilder
08-03-2010, 11:48 PM
If the bedroom doesn't have a kitchen or bathroom, then it might be a hard sell to say that the shared areas are not part of his residence. My guess is that it doesn't matter what the paperwork says is his residence, but rather what his residence actually is. If he routinely cooks in the kitchen and there is no kitchen in his room, then I'd call the kitchen part of his residence. If I were on probation I sure wouldn't want to take the risk.

BillCA
08-04-2010, 12:01 AM
Mindbuilder,

Common areas are those areas shared by the parties in residence. Thus, the kitchen, livingroom, dining room and entry hall are "shared in common". This means either party may give consent to a search of those areas.

If the bedrooms are private -- that is you have yours and I have mine -- and neither of us has permission to enter the other's bedroom without express permission then those areas are NOT shared. Only the person who's room it is can consent to the search if the door is closed and especially if it is locked. (it falls under expectation of privacy).

If the bedroom(s) are shared by two people (e.g. resident and his girlfriend) both living there, then either party can consent to the search.

A door that is simply closed, but not locked may not hold up in court, but a locked one certainly will if the consenting party does not have a key. The locked door firmly establishes "privacy" and limits access. Even if the sub-letting party consents, it is not valid -- it'd be like consenting to a search of a neighbor's house. Officers will need to get a warrant.

Parolees may have very limited 4th Amendment rights under the terms of their parole, such as no-warrant searches. Often times police will bring the parolee's PO with them and let him conduct the search. But that search has to stop at any locked door or container to which the parolee does not have access.

swat
08-04-2010, 12:04 AM
NEVER ACCEPT LEGAL ADVICE FROM THE INTERNET!!!
Get a legal opinion from an attorney. If you can't afford to hire an attorney check out legal aid.

motorhead
08-04-2010, 12:03 PM
probation officer may have objections also. remember, probation dept. isn't court. p.o. could order him to move immediately.

The Original Godfather
08-05-2010, 10:53 PM
Thanks for all the input.

I contacted my lawyer anyway :-P I'd post what I was told but I wouldnt want someone else holding that as law pertaining to their situation...


The bedrooms are private. No one has access to my bedroom except me. His lease states that he is only granted a bedroom (and the lease even goes into detail WHICH room in the house is his...) And yes I ALWAYS lock my door when I am not around. In fact, I even lock my bedroom door if I'm just going out to the backyard...



I guess what I was really asking was if the firearm is on my person in a shared living space would that be in violation.