The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO
Richard Joseph Manduchi, petitioner in this habeas corpus proceeding, was tried in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Lancaster County, and convicted of the misdemeanor of bookmaking. He was sentenced to pay a fine and to serve a one year term of imprisonment. After the conviction was affirmed on appeal,
he was confined in the Lancaster County Prison to commence service of the sentence. Pursuant to an order entered by this court on May 25, 1964, he was released on bail pending disposition of this matter.
The very issue now before this court was fully raised and decided adverse to petitioner by the state courts in conjunction with the trial and subsequent appeal, consequently respondent concedes that state remedies have been effctively exhausted even though petitioner has not instituted state habeas corpus proceedings. Brown v. Allen, 344 U.S. 443, 447, 73 S. Ct. 437, 97 L. Ed. 469 (1953), rehearing denied, 345 U.S. 946, 73 S. Ct. 827, 97 L. Ed. 1370 (1953).
On June 12, 1964, a hearing was held before this court at which the evidence presented consisted solely of the record of all proceedings relating to Manduchi's trial. At the request of the court, a further hearing was held on August 3, 1964 at which testimony was taken, but in view of the disposition hereinafter made of this petition it will not be necessary to relate the testimony brought out during the further hearing. From the record of the state proceedings offered at the initial hearing before me, the following facts appear:
On March 1, 1961, Detective S. Kenneth Cliff of the Lancaster City Police obtained a search warrant for the apartment of Richard Manduchi as a result of information obtained by other police officers. Two other police officers, Detectives Rose and Goeke, thereupon went to a store where they observed a man dial Manduchi's telephone number. When the caller, now deceased, spoke the name 'Red,' Manduchi's nickname, and identified himself, Detective Rose, by walkie-talkie, radioed the police station and Detective Cliff, along with Detective Williams and three other members of the department, proceeded to Manduchi's second floor apartment. When Detective Williams arrived, he tried the door, found it to be locked, knocked,
heard a 'scuffling noise' inside the apartment (the noise was never more precisely described), and without giving anyone inside the apartment the opportunity to open the door, and without announcing his authority and purpose, proceeded to hit the door with a sledge hammer. On the second blow the door flew open and Detective Williams entered the apartment. Simultaneously, two other detectives broke open another door to the apartment with a section of wooden telephone pole.
Detective Williams testified at the trial that upon entering the apartment he saw Manduchi put a piece of paper in his mouth and swallow it. Other papers found in the apartment were seized and admitted into evidence over defense counsel's objection. In addition, the detectives remained in the apartment for about an hour answering telephone calls made by persons asking for 'Red.' One such caller made numerous bets. Testimony concerning these calls was also given at the trial.
The issue raised by this petition is whether the evidence so obtained should have been excluded from the trial as the product of an unreasonable search and seizure prohibited by the Constitution of the United States. More narrowly stated, the issue is whether, under the circumstances, the entry by state officers armed with a search warrant without first announcing their authority and purpose violated constitutional safeguards against unreasonable search and seizure.
The Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, with its accompanying sanction that evidence so obtained must be excluded from trial, is applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S. Ct. 1684, 6 L. Ed. 2d 1081 (1961), rehearing denied, 368 U.S. 871, 82 S. Ct. 23, 7 L. Ed. 2d 72 (1961). Mapp did not furnish a definitive answer to the question whether a federal or state standard was to be applied in determining the reasonableness of a search (See Commonwealth v. Bosurgi, 411 Pa. 56, 65, 190 A.2d 304 (1963)), but the more recent case of Ker v. California, 374 U.S. 23, 83 S. Ct. 1623, 10 L. Ed. 2d 726 (1963) did. The standard to be applied is federal. It was stated in the following language in the opinion of Mr. Justice Clark for the Court in Ker:
One of the requirements of a reasonable search and seizure, under federal standards, is that the police officers must, prior to entry, make an announcement of their authority and their purpose for seeking entry unless there are circumstances excusing failure to do so. This requirement is an outgrowth of the traditional common law concept that a man's home is his castle. As early as 1603 an English court noted that '* * * in all cases when the King is a party, the sheriff (if the door be not open) may break the party's house, either to arrest him, or to do other execution of the King's process, if otherwise he cannot enter. But before he breaks it, he ought to signify the cause of his coming, and to make request to open doors. * * *' Semayne's Case, 77 Eng.Repr. 194, 195 (1603).
In Ker, county police officers having probable cause to believe that a felony had been or was being committed and having, therefore, probable cause to arrest him, obtained a pass key to Ker's apartment from the building manager, entered and searched it. That entry was regarded by the Court as the equivalent of a 'breaking.' In holding that the evidence seized in Ker's apartment as the result of the unannounced entry was admissible, the Court stressed circumstances which excused compliance with the requirement to announce authority and purpose.
'Here justification for the officers' failure to give notice is uniquely present. In addition to the officers' belief that Ker was in possession of narcotics, which could be quickly and easily destroyed, Ker's furtive conduct in eluding them shortly before the arrest was ground for the belief that he might well have been expecting the police.' Id. at 40, 83 S. Ct. at 1633.
The emphasis upon justifying circumstances in Mr. Justice Clark's opinion (joined in by three other justices) rather clearly indicates that entry without announcement will be deemed unreasonable, in violation of the constitutional safeguards, unless there are exigent circumstances excusing compliance. Mr. Justice Brennan, for the four dissenting justices, would have gone further and declared not only that exigent circumstances are required to excuse announcement of authority and purpose, but that no such circumstances existed in Ker and consequently the entry there violated constitutional standards.
In the course of its opinion, the Court did refer to a California statute
governing arrest procedure and to a similar federal statute
dealing with execution of search warrants but either statute seems to have been of controlling significance in the Court's determination of the standards of reasonableness governing entry. The problem was regarded as one of constitutional dimension.
The search in Ker was incident to an arrest without a warrant for a felony, whereas in the instant case the search was pursuant to a validly issued search warrant. This is not a ground for distinction. The search warrant serves no greater function, in the one case, than does reasonable cause to believe that a felony has been committed, in the other; each makes lawful the presence of the officers at the door. If that door is not open, under the ruling of Ker, it may not be broken to apprehend a felon without prior announcement, except under exigent circumstances. If constitutional safeguards must be observed before the door may be broken for the purpose of apprehending a felon, a fortiori they must be observed before the door may be broken for the purpose of seeking evidence of a misdemeanor. The fact that a valid search warrant had issued is immaterial when ...