40 votes

2 Policemen knocked on my door tonight for a "welfare check" UPDATED

So I was sitting peacefully surfing the web on my computer around 11 this evening when they came.

I live in a large apartment complex and keep to myself mostly as the majority of my neighbors are not really folks I care to associate with as there is much fighting and (so I've heard) a few druggies so it's not unusual for folks to call the cops around here. But I was rather alarmed when the cops came and knocked on MY door asking me if I was ok and that someone had called and said they heard people fighting and yelling in MY apartment.

I live alone and the last person I let in was my maintenance guy (who turns out to be a RP guy :) but that's another story). I really have no visitors and am a very peaceful and quiet person, so to hear that they had been called to check on me had me stunned.

I tried telling them they had the wrong apartment to no avail and they told me they were "concerned about my behavior" (but what single woman who has cops at her door at 11 at night for no apparent good reason be a bit perturbed??) and that they did not need a warrant to enter and see if anyone was bleeding to death in MY home.Anyhow, they refused to go away until they saw for themselves no one else was here, so against my great moral wishes, I allowed them to see for themselves to make them leave.

I was in no mood to debate them as I have had a long day and they totally caught me off guard. So I guess my question for you guys here is do cops really have a "right" to enter one's home if they suspect someone is being abused or mistreated and do I have any sort of recourse?


9/5 update

First off, I just wanted to personally thank all of you for your helpful comments and suggestions, you guys are AWESOME!! :)
I will probably need more help with this as I have now learned whose apartment they really should have been at. They had the right building but were given the wrong apartment number and I had told them I had heard fighting over there earlier in the day (but that was like 12 hours before they showed up). I have filed a complaint but have heard nothing as of yet about it and not quite sure what to do next. I guess wait and see?

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You're welcome.


Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin.

There was a case near me a couple of years ago. Someone called the police to do a welfare check on a woman at an apartment. The police arrived and the woman told them to go away. They would not. At some point in the encounter, she threatened the police with a baseball bat. They shot her dead.
If you are concerned about someone's welfare, go check on them yourself. Take some cookies or banana bread.
Under the 4th Amendment, the police have no right to enter your home without a warrant. They can come in if the door is open. They can come in if invited. They can look in the door if you have it open while talking to them.
If they refuse to leave, tell them they will be there a long time waiting and ask if would they like some tea for their long vigil. And that they need a warrant to enter.
If they want tea, close the door behind you when you serve it.
There are videos on the 'net explaining what to do if the police come knocking.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

Poor woman! Although threatening cops is something that I've

found will get you killed in most incidents I've ever heard of :/

Tea sounds like a better idea though LOL! And ya...I thought of the 4th Amendment after they'd gone unfortunately. My brain was rather slow last night :(

What are you fightin' for?
Caught in the middle?
Freedom is only for those with the guts to defend it!

No they do not have a right

I would of said if you want in my apartment, you're going to have to get a warrant. When you find nothing I will make it a point to sue you PERSONALLY for violation of my rights and will make sure that the judge who issued that warrant without probable cause is disbarred.

Have a good evening and shut the door.

If they had to ask....

If they had to ask to be let in then they did not have the authority to enter without your permission.

Police don't ask for consent when they don't need it. If they did not need your consent and had probable cause of a crime they could enter your home, and would have most likely by force.

What were you doing on the computer?

What web sites and conversations etc.?

Why, DailyPaul of course!

Why, DailyPaul of course!

LOL! Yeah, cuz arguing with folks on my computer is very

noisy ;)

What are you fightin' for?
Caught in the middle?
Freedom is only for those with the guts to defend it!


They are not allowed in your house unless you let them. But you maybe played it right. They might have been actually worried . And if you argued with them and didn't let them look. They would have thought it as acting shady. Then i bet they would be watching you for the next couple days.

If they get called there

If they get called there because of a "disturbance" or a "domestic" situation and before knocking on your door maybe listened for a second or two and heard some arguing or even actual fighting, then they would probably be able to justify their entry. However, If they don't have any additional factors present to corroborate the third party caller's complaint and you told them everything was okay; just the "third party complaint" alone is not enough for them to enter against your will.

“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!” – Samuel Adams

I've heard the same

I don't know how true it is from state to state (I know it's not true in CA, at least in practice), but yeah I've heard the same deal.

The cops around my area are far from perfect, but they wouldn't dare try entering someone's home without a warrant or permission.

Of course, I say that now...what about five years from now?

A signature used to be here!

Thank you! Good to know!

Never had the cops come to my door before but I'll be better prepared if they should ever again.

What are you fightin' for?
Caught in the middle?
Freedom is only for those with the guts to defend it!

This is how you deal with that..

You have the wrong apartment. If you do not leave me alone, I am calling my lawyer right now and telling him you are demanding to come in my home without a warrant. Unless you want a lawsuit, I would suggest you leave. You have the wrong apartment. Leave me alone.

Most cops are good people. Seriously. Stand up for yourself respectfully in that situation and you will be most likely left alone.

Also though.. I understand that cops probably go through that a lot and probably honestly just wanted to make sure you were ok. Could you imagine walking away from a door.. only to go back to someone with the holy crap beaten out of them?

Its a double edged blade situation.

You could have opened the door wide and said 'You can look in my house but you cannot come in. You have the wrong apartment.'

You don't have to fight to stand up for your rights. Just be resolute and amicable about it.


'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

When you open the door, there are many "reasons"

that can be concocted to rationalize entry.

"I thought I observed contraband"
"I smelled a suspicious odor"
"I heard the sound of someone in distress"

I'd prefer to talk through the door.

You all have such good answers about what to do!

Ya...one of the cops said the same thing you did about his not being able to walk away from someone who might possibly die if they didn't get help. He asked and appeared very sincere on that note, I know I couldn't just walk away from someone who needed help either. That is the only thing that made me give in and allow them to look (I felt like such a softy caving :/ ). But on the other hand, to be treated as if I was a criminal when all the information they had was an invalid complaint...
I really don't understand or know WHY anyone would call the cops on me and that (unfortunately) has kept me awake all night.

What are you fightin' for?
Caught in the middle?
Freedom is only for those with the guts to defend it!

I would never allow them in..

but Im a guy. I would open the door, ask what else I could do to prove to them that they had the wrong house. We pot smokers are easy targets. Everything is against the law these days and allowing them access to your home can open more worms you don't want to open.

Im glad you are OK. It was probably a neighbor that gave them the wrong address on accident.

At least now you have gone through it. I bet you will feel much more confident, if there is a next time. :)

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

You could also think of it

as not so much thinking of you as a criminal, but possibly a victim under threat. Cops really do see it all the time, that they'll get called for a domestic disturbance, sometimes by a person being assaulted, then someone answers the door and says everything is fine.

Defend Liberty!

I would demand that they

I would demand that they identify who called in a false 911 call. That is illegal!! Or , find out where they (the cops)live and call in on them! But, then they would arrest you for making nuisance calls! LOL!

I Once Saw An Ad

for a door mat that read "Come Back with a Warrant".

Maybe the OP needs one of those.


on ebay. :)


'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

Haha! You know I could USE a new doormat after coincidentally

having just disposed of the old one yesterday :)

What are you fightin' for?
Caught in the middle?
Freedom is only for those with the guts to defend it!

Tried that, he said he did not need one :/


What are you fightin' for?
Caught in the middle?
Freedom is only for those with the guts to defend it!


....and cops never lie. NEVER.

I suppose asking for names

I suppose asking for names and badge numbers would be in order? What if they were actually robbers?

I made note of their names, one guy just gave his first initial

and last name. The other I noted from his badge and I wrote them down when they had left. Did not get their numbers. And ya...I shoulda probably yelled through the door or pretended not to be here :/
I don't know what I can do with just their names if anything.

What are you fightin' for?
Caught in the middle?
Freedom is only for those with the guts to defend it!

I like the answers you are getting

but I might have asked them to wait a moment while I called 911 and asked if police officers had been dispatched to my address. Only then would I have allowed them in. My 2cents.

Get The local Dispatch # Instead of Calling 911

...in order to verify the cops' reason for being at your door. Your local police likely have a separate number you can call to talk to the police dispatcher on duty.

Most cops are bullies.

I understand they made it obvious that they would not leave until you proved your innocence. No, they had no right to search your home but they would have screamed and harassed you until you did something that would give them the "right" to arrest you.

That is what happened to me.

Sorry to hear about this, but the problem is the authoritarian cop mentality. You had every right to be concerned. There is no predicting what a cop will do next since most don't care about obeying the law themselves anymore, they just want their own commands to be obeyed.

My fears exactly. I also was not in the mood to go to jail for

doing nothing and the worst part is I have no idea WHO called them or why they would. :(

I am sorry to hear that you have also been harassed like this, this is also why I am reluctant to call the cops for anything. I wish there was a way to stop this insanity.

What are you fightin' for?
Caught in the middle?
Freedom is only for those with the guts to defend it!

And what does it tell us when we have to "worry" ???

It means we NOW , right NOW, live in a full fledged Police State.

And yes, Cops will not accept anything but their "Bull s-hi-t" commands being followed regardless if they are right or wrong.....

95% of cops make the good 5% of cops look bad.

Which tells me that they have NO RESPECT FOR MY INALIENABLE RIGHTS. And if they don't respect my INALIENABLE RIGHTS, then as far as I am concerned, THEY ARE CRIMINAL and need to be treated as such.

If the power of the State is NOT checked by us, "the people", then there is NO way this will stop.

I value Liberty and with MOST cops like this, it becomes very difficult to exercise and basic Liberties without getting harassed by "Law Enforcement".

If the purpose of Government is to "Secure the Inalienable Rights of the People" and government is no longer in the business of doing so, as far as I'm concerned, it is then "illegitimate" to govern and should be promptly removed from such "authority".

The founding generation had the solution to that ..... But who today has the wherewithal to actually stand up to the thugs?? Not many, and since it's "not many" and the Cops (thugs) know this, they will exercise EXTRAORDINARILY abusive power mainly physically towards the individual. And that IS the reason they get away with more and more thuggery.

Once there is a consequence for that type of behavior to the negative, then and ONLY then will these garbage trash heaps actually re-consider their thuggish behavior. But it's going to take a lot of us willing to give up what we got to attain such a feat!

I always say, breathing air is NOT more valuable than God's honest Liberty! We all stop breathing air one day weather by natural causes nor NOT. I choose to stand with Liberty even though I know it will cost me dearly for doing so.

Love Liberty, be Vigilant

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Faith in God will prevail all things!