Consent to search can be non-verbal, Kansas Supreme Court rules


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An individual’s conduct can be relevant in determining whether a person has expressed valid consent to search, the Kansas Supreme Court said in a decision reversing a lower court ruling suppressing evidence.

The ruling Friday came in the case of Gianni Massimo Daino, who allowed police to enter his apartment when he opened the door and stood aside for them to come in.

The appeals court reversed a Johnson County District Court ruling suppressing evidence after the warrantless search led to the discovery of marijuana and other incriminating evidence.

The Supreme Court said valid consent requires a showing that an individual freely expressed consent and was not merely acquiescing to lawful authority. It ruled that an individual’s nonverbal conduct can be relevant because a person may express valid consent through words, acts, or conduct.

The court remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.

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