Community Caretaking Searches In Wisconsin

In State v. Anderson, 142 Wis. 2d 162, 167, 417 N.W.2d 411 (Ct. App. 1987), the court set out the following test for determining whether the community caretaker exception to the Fourth Amendment is applicable: When a community caretaker function is asserted as justification for the seizure of a person, the trial court must determine: (1) that a seizure within the meaning of the fourth amendment has occurred; (2) if so, whether the police conduct was bona fide community caretaker activity; (3) if so, whether the public need and interest outweigh the intrusion upon the privacy of the individual. Anderson, 142 Wis. 2d at 169. In State v. Ellenbecker, 159 Wis. 2d 91, 96, 464 N.W.2d 427 (Ct. App. 1990), we said that in a community caretaker case reasonableness is determined by balancing the public need and interest furthered by the police conduct against the degree and nature of the intrusion upon the privacy of the citizen.