Private search doctrine doesn’t allow repairman to consent to police search

State v. Eisfeldt, Washington Supreme Court, Docket No. 79947-4, issued June 5, 2008

A repairman was called by a homeowner to repair a diesel spill in the home’s living room. A key was left under the mat for the repairman. The repairman went to the attached garage to ventilate the fumes, noticed sealant around the garage door, and broke the sealant to gain entry to the garage. He noticed what he believed was evidence of a marijuana grow operation, became suspicious, and contacted the police. He showed detective the diesel spill in the living room and the suspicious items in the garage. The detectives stopped the search and obtained a search warrant for the home. The police found what they believed was evidence of a marijuana grow operation.

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