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Kentucky v. King

Docket No.: 09-1272
Certiorari Granted: 09/28/10
Argued: January 12, 2011
Decided: 05/16/11


Fourth Amendment, privacy, probable cause

PartyNames: Kentucky v. Hollis Deshaun King
Petitioner: Kentucky
Respondent: Hollis Deshaun King

Court Below: Supreme Court of Kentucky
Citation: 302 S.W.3d 649
Supreme Court Docket

Hollis Deshaun King

Police officers entered an apartment building in hot pursuit of a person who sold crack cocaine to an undercover informant. They heard a door slam, but were not certain which of two apartments the trafficker fled into. A strong odor of marijuana emanated from one of the doors, which prompted the officers to believe the trafficker had fled into that apartment. The officers knocked on the door. They then heard noises which indicated that physical evidence was being destroyed. The officers entered the apartment and found large quantities of drugs. The Kentucky Supreme Court held that this evidence should have been suppressed, ruling that (1) the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement did not apply because the officers created the exigency by knocking on the door, and (2) the hot pursuit exception to the warrant requirement did not apply because the suspect was not aware he was being pursued. The two questions presented are:

Consideration Limited:


Question Presented:

1. When does lawful police action impermissibly "create" exigent circumstances which preclude warrantless entry; and which of the five tests currently being used by the United States Courts of Appeals is proper to determine when impermissibly created exigent circumstances exist? 2. Does the hot pursuit exception to the warrant requirement apply only if the government can prove that the suspect was aware he was being pursued?


Does the exclusionary rule, which forbids the use of illegally seized evidence except in emergency situations, apply when the emergency is created by lawful police actions?

Kentucky v. King


Listen to Oral Argument in Kentucky v. King
Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 8-1
Opinion By:

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Kentucky v. King
Case Documents

1Opinion in Kentucky v. King
2Kentucky v. King Oral Argument Audio
3Kentucky v. King Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
4Kentucky v. King Oral Argument Audio
5Opinion in Kentucky v. King
6Kentucky v. King Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
Additional documents for this case are pending review.