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United States v. Matlock

Significance, Rules Of Evidence Applicable In A Criminal Trial, Police Acting On Their Own, Impact


United States


William Matlock

Petitioner's Claim

That out-of-court statements should not have been excluded from evidence at a suppression hearing and that a third party who had common authority over a premises may give permission for a search.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Wallace, U.S. Deputy Solicitor General

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Donald S. Eisenberg

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

20 February 1974


A third party with control over a property may give permission for a warrantless search of the property. Also, no automatic rule exists against receiving hearsay evidence during a suppression hearing.

Related Cases

  • Trupiano v. United States, 334 U.S. 699 (1948).
  • McDonald v. United States, 335 U.S. 451 (1948).
  • Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160 (1949).
  • Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731 (1969).
  • Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218 (1973).
  • Illinois v. Rodriguez, 497 U.S. 177 (1990).

Further Readings

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980