The police obtained a search warrant for 103 Lake Drive, Wyandanch, New York. While they were outside the apartment house and before anyone knew of their presence two officers saw Chunon Bailey and Bryant Middleton leave the building, get in a car, and drive away. The officers followed them. They stopped the vehicle approximately a mile away and transferred the occupants to a police car. Bailey and Middleton were driven back to Lake Drive and detained. An officer took Bailey’s keys and drove his car back to the Lake Drive residence.
By the time they got back to the residence a gun and narcotics had been found in the apartment and Bailey was arrested.
In Michigan v. Summers the Supreme Court held that law enforcement agents could detain people found in or near a house that is being searched pursuant to a search warrant. In Bailey the court refused to extend Summers to allow detentions some distance away from the house. It pointed out that the detentions in Summers were based on three legitimate needs of law enforcement. First, detentions of those in or near the house are permitted to prevent harm to the peace officers. If someone, like Bailey is not at the residence and does not even know that officers are searching the house the likelihood of injury to the peace officers is minimal. Yes, someone could come home during the search and injure an officer but this would allow numerous people present in numerous places to be arrested and this would clearly violate the Fourth Amendment. Second, Summers permits detentions in order to facilitate the orderly completion of the search. But again if someone is not at the residence they cannot interrupt the orderly completion of the search. Finally, a detention of someone at the house creates a minimal intrusion in their life and it prevents their escape in light of a possible arrest depending upon what is found in the residence. Again detaining people away from the residence not only creates a significant intrusion in people’s lives but it leads to the detention of many people who may be some distance from the residence. The effect is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.