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Chimel v. California

Significance, Setting The Standard, Warrantless Emergency Search, Impact, Further Readings


Ted Chimel


State of California

Petitioner's Claim

That the warrantless search of Chimel's entire house, incident to arrest, was not justifiable under the Fourth Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Keith C. Monroe

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Ronald M. George

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, William O. Douglas, John Marshall Harlan II, Thurgood Marshall, Potter Stewart (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black, Byron R. White (Abe Fortas retired)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

23 June 1969


Reversed the lower courts' rulings and held that searches incident to arrest are limited to the area within the immediate control of the suspect in order to prevent the grabbing of a weapon or the destruction of evidence.

Related Cases

  • Weeks v. Ohio, 232 U.S. 383 (1914).
  • Harris v. United States, 331 U.S. 145 (1947).
  • United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56 (1950).
  • Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961).
  • Preston v. United States, 376 U.S. 364 (1964).
  • Williams v. United States, 401 U.S. 646 (1971).
  • State v. Thomas, 318 N.C. 287 (1986).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972