Centers around when the police can enter your house without a warrant

Case Description

The case is a criminal prosecution of Bernadette Arndt for Obstruction of Justice based on her refusal to open the door to her apartment when police knocked on it.  The police did not have a warrant and were responding to a call from a neighbor who reported hearing yelling, swearing and things breaking in the apartment.  When the first responding officers arrived, the disturbance had passed but they could hear movement inside the apartment. 

Police charged Arndt with Obstruction of Justice for her refusal to open the door to her apartment.  She and her attorney plan to file a motion to dismiss the charges and we have been asked to file an amicus brief.  The ACLU’s brief argued that the prosecution for Obstruction under these circumstances is improper because her failure to open the door does not constitute a physical obstruction and because Fourth Amendment protects her right to refuse police entry into her home without a warrant.


Howard Bass

Date filed


Minnesota District Court