Maryland v. Buie

RESPONDENT:Jerome Edward Buie
LOCATION:Buie Residence

DOCKET NO.: 88-1369
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)
LOWER COURT: Maryland Court of Appeals

CITATION: 494 US 325 (1990)
ARGUED: Dec 04, 1989
DECIDED: Feb 28, 1990
GRANTED: Jun 05, 1989

Dennis M. Sweeney – on behalf of the Petitioner
John L. Kopolow – on behalf of the Respondent
Lawrence S. Robbins – on behalf of the United States as amicus curiae, supporting the Petitioner

Facts of the case

On February 3, 1986, two men robbed a Godfather’s Pizza in Prince George’s County, Maryland. One of the men was wearing a red running suit. Later that day, the police obtained warrants for the arrest of Jerome Edward Buie and Lloyd Allen and put Buie’s house under surveillance. On February 5, the police arrested Buie in his house. Police found him hiding in the basement. Once Buie emerged and was handcuffed, an officer went down to determine if there was anyone else hiding. While in the basement, the officer saw a red running suit in plain view and seized it as evidence.

The trial court denied Buie’s motion to suppress the running suit evidence, and he was convicted. The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirmed the trial court’s denial of the motion. The Court of Appeals of Maryland reversed.


Does the Fourth Amendment prevent police officers from making a “protective sweep” at the site of an in-home arrest if they do not believe themselves or others to be in immediate danger?

Media for Maryland v. Buie

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – December 04, 1989 in Maryland v. Buie

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – February 28, 1990 in Maryland v. Buie

William H. Rehnquist:

No. 88-1369, Maryland against Buie will be announced by Justice White.

Byron R. White:

For the reasons stated in an opinion on file with the Clerk, we vacate and remand for further proceedings the judgment of the Court of Appeals for Maryland.

Justices Stevens and Kennedy have filed concurring opinions; Justice Brennan has filed a dissent in which Justice Marshall joins.