If police officers enter your home before the official eviction date, what is your recourse?

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If police officers enter your home before the official eviction date, what is your recourse?

My aunt is currently being evicted from her home (mortgage not rental). The official court eviction date is tomorrow at noon, however today police officers entered her home while she was not there. They then called her and threatened to call animal control because her animals were still in the home (she is still moving out). They entered without permission before the official eviction date, is there anything my aunt can do about this? She is furious.

Asked on May 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There may be more going on that you indicate. Law enforcement officers cannot, as you note, enter a person's home who is being evicted other than on the eviction date, to carry out the eviction. However, that does not mean that they might not be able to enter for other, non-eviction-related, lawful reasons. For example, if someone had called in a credible emergecy report (crime, health, etc.) about your aunt's address; or if neighbors reported the sounds of people or animals in distress, which the police then heard when they responded; if there was a strong enough odor to suggest a health violation; if while passing in a public area, the police could plainly see through an open door or window, something illegal or posing a threat; etc. Given that animal control was called, it may be that there was some legitimate reason, related to her animals, for police presence. You or your aunt should try to find out more about the reason for the entry before deciding what to do.


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