A federal judge has ruled that police have the right to enter homes without a warrant as long as they claim to be conducting a “welfare check.” Lieutenant Joseph Buccilli did not violate the Fourth Amendment when he forced his way into the home of Timothy, LuAnn and Joseph Batt without a warrant in 2012, U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci Jr ruled earlier this year. The case currently is being appealed, and a ruling is expected this fall. Buccilli was at the home to check on the welfare of Fred Puntoriero, LuAnn’s father, who suffered from dementia. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is representing the family. “Buccilli and another officer arrived at the Batt home and told Joe they wanted to conduct a welfare check on his grandfather,” the HSLSA reported. “After Joe respectfully refused, explaining that his grandfather had just been seen by a nurse’s aide who reported that all was well, Buccelli forced his way in.” Geraci concluded in March that Buccilli was immune from the Fourth Amendment because police do not need warrants for welfare checks on at-risk adults, The New York Law Journal reported. Geraci upheld a similar decision made by U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio of the Western District of New York in July 2016.
Sign up for our free e-mail list to see future vaticancatholic.com videos and articles.