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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default Are the Police Liable if They Refuse to Perform a Welfare Check

    My question involves public health law in the State of: Minnesota

    In May this year, my friend called in a welfare check on me in Wright County. She was 1.5 hrs away and was concerned that i was not responding to anyone she had checked with for about 24hrs and I was very depressed. She told the police it was not like me to be this unresponsive and was concerned about an attempted suicide.
    The police did go to my door, got no answer. =

    My 2nd floor window was open and tv was on. Car was there. They refused to do anything further. She was persistent for the next 1hr to no avail. The police would do no more. Eventually a civilian got a ladder and crawled through my window. They found me asperating and barely breathing. I had attempted suicide 24 hours earlier and was at death's door. Let me just say, that I had no intention of living and was in a state of mind that did not concider someone having to find me dead or barely alive.

    How can police refuse to do a welfare check? I'm very thankful that a civilian took it into thier own hands to see if I was ok, but this seems so wrong! It should have been someone trained for this sort of thing that found me. And honestly, if they had not taken things into thier own hands, i probably wouldn't be here.

    I thank God everyday I'm alive, but I'm concerned for others.

    Why did the police refuse to enter my townhouse and isn't there something legally wrong with this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Are the Police Liable if They Refuse to Perform a Welfare Check

    The police attempted a welfare check -- but you didn't answer the door. The police don't have an obligation to kick in your door or break into your apartment, based upon a call from somebody who has no idea whether you're even at home. You would not be happy if you came home from a shopping trip to find that the police had kicked in your door because somebody suggested that you might be inside, incapacitated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Re: Are the Police Liable if They Refuse to Perform a Welfare Check

    The police get a great many requests for welfare checks, but even with such checks, the 4th Amendment still applies. Certainly, given the right set of facts, the police might have been able to force entry (or climb through a window). But, a vague claim that not answering the phone and being depressed is not generally sufficient to justify such an exigency.
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Are the Police Liable if They Refuse to Perform a Welfare Check

    And, to put it bluntly, you didn't die, so what would you sue for? What long lasting or permanent damages do you have based on the fact that the cops did not find you sooner?

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