Police Interrogation In a Hospital Room In California Law

In People v. Brown, 88 Cal. App. 3d 283, 151 Cal. Rptr. 749 (1979), a nurse admitted the police, who wished to interrogate defendant about a possible murder, to defendant's hospital room. The closet in the room was open and the police could see a pair of blood-caked shoes. The police asked the nurse to secure the room and subsequently obtained a warrant to seize the shoes. Defendant challenged the warrant, arguing that the police observation of the shoes was tainted because they had no right to enter his room in the first instance. The court ultimately rejected defendant's argument. In doing so, it noted that "a hospital is, in a sense, sui generis . . . . at least for certain purposes, a hospital room is fully under the control of the medical staff; yet for other purposes it is 'the patient's room.'"