Hotel Registry Checks

Discussion in 'Law Review' started by ds13, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. ds13

    ds13 MassCops Member

    I frequently do hotel registry checks. I find the copy of the ID that the cash customers give when they pay, run a warrant check, and routinely find active warrants. My question is, once I make the warrant arrest, either at the threshold of the hotel room, or once they step outside the room, what rights do I have as far as identifying anyone in the room, or going in for a protective sweep. Ideally, we always make this arrest inside the room, but sometimes it doesnt work out that way.

    I know that the protective sweep is intended to protect myself from other persons present and is stringent with regards to a home sweep, but do I get any leeway when we are in the hotel? How about any case law regarding this type of incident? I am pretty familiar with the wording of the defrauding an innkeeper statute, but I can't find any practical teachings about it.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. 94c

    94c Subscribing Member

    I think if the guy answers the door on a body warrant, the protective sweep is out the window. Unless you can specifically point to a safety issue.

    I think if the guy answers the door on a body warrant, any search incident to arrest will be limited to his immediate area and also based on the reason for the warrant. (naturally, all incidents to arrest will expand to the same "reach area" for weapons regardless of the charge.)

    God loves cops. That is why he created the plain view doctrine.
  3. LGriffin

    LGriffin Supporting Member

    Wow, you're high speed, and I thought I was top cop for running the plates in the lot...
  4. LA Copper

    LA Copper Subscribing Member

    Not sure if it's the same there in Mass, but when we do this type of thing, we can do a search of the room as a protective sweep for people.

    However, if during your search you see any contraband in plain sight, it's yours. If you think you need to search through drawers, locked boxes, etc, you would need a search warrant.
  5. MetrowestPD

    MetrowestPD MassCops Member

    IMHO. If you make an arrest for a warrant at the door to the room without incident, you will lose any and all evidence regarding a protective sweep unless you can articulate a reason for the sweep. Reasons could be the subject is known to be violent, carry weapons, gang member ect....The Court will ultimately need for you to have a reasonable basis for the protective sweep, otherwise they will deem it as a search for evidence of a crime which obviously needs a warrant.

    "Commonwealth v. Lewin (No. 1), 407 Mass. 617, 626 (1990), the judge concluded that the second pass through the house "was in fact and law a general search, conducted after the exigency generated by the need for a prompt protective search had ended."

    This case is good for protective sweep:

    Commonwealth v. Omar L. DeJesus
    "protective sweep is proper when articulable facts, taken together with reasonable inferences, cause a reasonably prudent officer to believe that the area to be swept harbors an individual posing a danger. Here, the officers had articulable facts leading to a reasonable concern for their safety, based on the warrant for a violent crime as well as an adjudicated history of violence."
  6. NBPD

    NBPD MassCops Member

    we do the same thing, the motel actually provides us with a copy of the names/dob's/room number and license number. Once we knock on the room door and the subject answers the door then I just look for anything in plain view.
  7. 94c

    94c Subscribing Member

    Search Warrant----yes
    Body Warrant------not automatically.
  8. Goose

    Goose The list is long but distinguished. Staff Member

    Here's an easy answer: Ask him if he would like his shoes or jacket. It is cold outside, right?

    You wouldn't let him go back in the room alone, right? You wouldn't want to just walk in and get the stuff for him...go with him!

    At the same time, you wouldn't want anyone in the room to be able to help him effect an escape...
  9. Firecat7

    Firecat7 New Member

    Does anyone have further info regarding hotel registry checks, specifically are their any guidelines regarding this ie. Does attendant have to produce guest log etc?
  10. Harley387

    Harley387 MassCops Member

    Yes. They are required to show it to LE. I do not have the MGL off hand though.

    ---------- Post added at 22:19 ---------- Previous post was at 22:11 ----------

    Found it:

    Chapter 140: Section 27. Register; entry of names; condition precedent to occupancy; retention; inspection; penalty

    Section 27. Every innholder, and every lodging house keeper required so to do under section twenty-eight, and every person who shall conduct, control, manage or operate, directly or indirectly, any recreational camp, overnight camp or cabin, motel or manufactured housing community shall keep or cause to be kept, in permanent form, a register in which shall be recorded the true name or name in ordinary use and the residence of every person engaging or occupying a private room averaging less than four hundred square feet floor area, excepting a private dining room not containing a bed or couch, or opening into a room containing a bed or couch, for any period of the day or night in any part of the premises controlled by the licensee, together with a true and accurate record of the room assigned to such person and of the day and hour when such room is assigned. The entry of the names of the person engaging a room and of the occupants of said room shall be made by said person engaging said room or by an occupant thereof, except that when five or more members of a business, fraternal, or social group or other group having a common interest are engaging rooms, they may designate one person to make said entry on their behalf and prior to occupancy. Until the entry of such name and the record of the room has been made, such person shall not be allowed to occupy privately any room upon the licensed premises. Such register shall be retained by the holder of the license for a period of at least one year after the date of the last entry therein, and shall be open to the inspection of the licensing authorities, their agents and the police. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than three months, or both.
  11. 263FPD

    263FPD Administrator Staff Member

    Frankly I am puzzled taken aback with your question. If you have to ask it, I have to ask you....

    Are you even LE? It's kind of Policing 101. We conduct Hotel/Motel compliance checks as a part of a daily routine. All clerks are aware of it and as soon as we walk in, they are busy printing the registry for us. I can't even begin to tell you how many wanted felons we discover while doing this.

    In short, yes they are required to produce the hotel's registry log.

    WSCCJMAJOR MassCops Member

    I'll have to ask my professor if this is actually legal. He's ALWAYS given me good advice in the past.
  13. EnforceOfficer

    EnforceOfficer New Member

    Oh, don't be silly, the Police always know where to find you as you frequent the Rainbow motel; youuu knowww, the one with the slogan "We don't care what you do, just as long as you throw the sheets in a pile in the morning"...
  14. Firecat7

    Firecat7 New Member

    263FPD, what is it are you puzzled or taken aback? Yes I'm on the job, recently had a Holiday Inn built in town. Great way to grab warrants, just wanted to get more info in the event attendant had reservations about releasing it.
  15. 263FPD

    263FPD Administrator Staff Member

  16. Firecat7

    Firecat7 New Member

    Thank You all for your quick responses.

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