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Regarding house parties, I was curious as to the legal entry to "Quell the disturbance."

For example, you go to the house that is having the party and the doors are locked and nobody answers. My question is how far can we go to gain entry by force? I know if I articulate in my report that I heard screaming etc it would look better, however I'm looking for the tad' a firma. I have been on several calls over the past few years with different officers that have different approaches.. some will go in no matter what and some won't. I don't want to make case law for the wrong reason. Just looking for some feedback.

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I've made a forced entry a few times for out-of-control house parties where no one would open the door. What I've hung my hat on is specific wording in MGL 41-98.... and may enter any building to suppress a riot or breach of peace therein.

Now, I wouldn't break the door down if the music suddenly stopped and everyone got quiet after I knocked on the door. I'm talking about the real belligerant types that turn the music up when they see the cruisers.
 

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Courts have not construed the authority to enter a dwelling to quell a disturbance pursuant to G.L c. 41 Sec. 98 to authorize an automatic entry. For example, see Comm. v. Kiser, 48 Mass.App.Ct. 647. Here's a link to the full text of the decision: http://www.policelaborlaw.com/training/kiser.doc. Good police reports are particularly important to justify warrantless entries.
 

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It's good if you can articulate that there is underage drinking going on, otherwise be very careful. Look at Marblehead case, they were very lucky in the lawsuit. You have to give them a chance to knock it off. I usually go right after the homeowner and talk to them, charge them with keeper of a disorderly house and disturbance.
 
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