Is a report of shots fired enought to evict someone for criminal misconduct?
The Fourth Amendment sets forth the minimum amount of protection that both the state and federal government must provide against searches and seizures. It prohibits searches and seizures that are not authorized by a warrant based on "probable cause" or that are otherwise "unreasonable". The Supreme Court has said that probable cause exists when the facts and circumstances within the police officer's knowledge provide a reasonably trustworthy basis for a man of reasonable caution to believe that a criminal offense has been committed or is about to take place. Probable cause can be established by out-of-court statements made by reliable police informants, even though those statements cannot be tested by the magistrate. However, probable cause will not exist where the only evidence of criminal activity is an officer's affirmation of suspicion or belief.
Probable cause will not lie unless the facts supporting the warrant are sworn by the officer as true to the best of his or her knowledge. The officer's oath can be written or oral, but the officer must typically swear that no knowing or intentionally false statement has been submitted in support of the warrant and that no statement has been made in reckless disregard of the truth.
Warrantless searches, seizures, and arrests may be justified by "exigent" circumstances. To determine whether exigent circumstances justified po-lice conduct, a court must review the totality of the circumstances, including the gravity of the underlying offense and whether the suspect was fleeing or trying to escape. However, the surrounding circumstances must be tantamount to an emergency. Shots fired, screams heard, or fire emanating from inside a building have all been considered sufficiently exigent to dispense with the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement.
No warrant is required for searches incident to lawful arrest. If a police officer has made a lawful arrest, with or without a warrant, the Fourth Amendment permits the officer to conduct a search of the suspect's person, clothing, and all of the areas within the suspect's immediate reach.
A landlord's decision that illegal activity is occurring on the premises doesn't need to be proven by the same standards that a police officer is required to have to make an arrest. A landlord may make a good faith determination that gunshots and illegal substances being present are signs of criminal activity justifying a termination of a lease for prohibited criminal conduct.
Premises liability involves the responsibility of property owners to maintain safe conditions for people coming on or about the property. Homeowners can be and often are held liable for injuries which occur on their property. If a person slips, trips, or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition, the property owner may be fully responsible. Property owners are generally held accountable for falls as a result of water, ice, or snow, as well as abrupt changes in flooring, poor lighting, or a hidden hazard, such as a gap or hard to see hole in the ground. Several categories of persons to whom a property owner may be liable exist, and the duties of protection owed to each group are specific. Where a homeowner, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon the premises for any lawful purpose, a duty to exercise ordinary care arises to keep the premises safe. The invitation may be express, implied from known and customary use of portions of the premises, or inferred from conduct actually known to the homeowner. Workers or contractors are typically considered invitees. A licensee is a person who has no contractual relation with the owner of the premises but is permitted, expressly or implicitly, to go on the premises. The homeowner is liable to a licensee only for willful or wanton injury. It is usually willful or wanton not to exercise ordinary care to prevent injuring a licensee who is actually known to be, or is reasonably expected to be, within the range of a dangerous act or condition.