Here is a guest post from a registered citizen of Nebraska. We are respecting this individual’s request to remain anonymous.
Had enough yet? Had enough of the warrantless home invasions by law enforcement? If you are like me, then you are downright sick and tired of the harassment. It turns out that despite the fact that these visits qualify as a 4th Amendment-busting search of person and property, and despite the fact that these so-called compliance checks have been deemed unconstitutional by a Federal District Court in Minnesota which, like Nebraska, is within the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, they simply don’t care, and it seems we are living in a jackboot police state (at least in Nebraska). What will it take for the warrantless home invasions to cease? I don’t have the answer. But as a victim of such visits I have decided to take proactive measures which I believe protect myself as well as possibly thwart the frequency of visits in the future; I would like to share this with all other registrants. I’m not suggesting these tips will work for everyone, nor do I encourage everyone to follow them. I am simply offering alternative legal measures registrants and their families could take to further protect themselves and possibly lessen the frequency of home invasive visits. These methods have not all been “tried and true” and I do not offer this as legal advice, nor am I a lawyer. The following suggestions apply to registrants who are no longer on probation or parole.
Suggestion #1: Don’t answer the door. There is no law that says you have to answer the door!!! Which begs the question, to what lengths will they go to get an answer? If one does not answer the door, will they mark you down as “non compliant” and seek out a warrant for your arrest? It wouldn’t be surprising, what with today’s kangaroo courts and judges rubberstamping warrants and all. It’s a scary thought that they could potentially arrest a registrant because he or she was absent during a visit because he or she was at work. Or will they simply come back the next day, or the day after that, assuming one continues to not answer the door? And after that, will they ratchet up the intimidation factor by sending an armed SWAT team in the middle of the night, waking a registrant and his/her family from rest to see if he/she answers the door? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but again, one does not violate any law by NOT answering the door if law enforcement does not have a warrant.
Suggestion #2: Post signs on your property stating you have security cameras which monitor your home 24 hours a day. This helps two-fold: it discourages would-be burglars and vandals AND it is my opinion that officers will be less likely to conduct a compliance check if they think they will be on camera. If you don’t own a video recorder of some kind, you can purchase a fake surveillance camera for your home. Amazon sells both inexpensive signs and some very realistic looking fake surveillance cameras for around 10 bucks. Despite the fact that citizens have a legal right to record police, it turns out that cops don’t seem to like being recoded. When they conduct these compliance checks, I believe they know they are in the wrong and that what they are doing is contrary to the constitution and the last thing they want is to be video recorded violating the same constitution swore oath to protect.
Suggestion #3: If you decide to open the door, you don’t have to answer their questions, not a single one. You could simply reply to them “I invoke and refuse to waive my 5th Amendment right to remain silent. I don’t consent to this contact with you. Please leave.” You don’t have to be rude, and can resist them in a respectful manner. Remember, they have no probable cause to be questioning you in the first place. They are the aggressors in this situation. They are the ones invading your privacy. So I suggest you remain calm and polite, but insist you do not consent to their questioning or any searches of you, your family, or any property.
One might ask, “why not just answer their questions so they can get on their way?” To that I respond: has answering their questions stopped them from coming back time and time again, only to ask the same redundant questions? Do they not keep coming back?? There is something to be said for standing up to a bully. By remaining silent, you not only exercise your 5th Amendment right but you are also likely preventing them from gaining a foothold to obtain a search warrant.
Unfortunately, exercising your rights is risky business and may come at a cost. By following any of the above suggestions, I don’t put it past them placing anyone on a “problem list” or “non-compliant list” which could result in further harassment. These are risks you will have to carefully consider. I can only speak for myself when I say I’m damn sick of the visits and have decided enough is enough and I’m going to exercise my right to resist. I have long since paid my debt to society and I’m fed up with the enduring state-sponsored repunishment.
Knowledge is power. Research and learn your rights and be prepared to stand up for yourself because they aren’t going to stop coming. Remember, it was registrants and family members of registrants who exercised their voting rights and kicked Bruning and Pirsch to the curb. Together, we can overcome much adversity.