Deliberate Entry

Standing pointedly inside his door, the suspect grinned. “No, you can not come in, warrant or no!”

Jenna took a breath, meaning to answer that. The door slammed shut in her face, so she sighed instead. From his criminal record including activity in an anti-supernaturals group a decade ago, neither his recognising her as a vampire nor his reaction came as a surprise. Still, it was annoying in its pettiness and shortsightedness.

Usually she would be partnered with someone who did not require invitation, but there had been some roster-shuffling tonight, leaving the pair of vampires the option to watch the house to keep him from running and call for reinforcements. To arrest one unarmed little loser with a habit of blogging rants against supernaturals while drunk. Embarrassing.

While she walked back to the squad car, a grin spread across her face. She had foreseen trouble like that, and both brought the right equipment and made sure with the chief that she could use it.

She hefted the sledgehammer and stalked back to the house. Invitations were required to cross a threshold, true. But it had turned out that if you removed the entire wall, the problem disappeared.

Inspired by the prompt "How does a vampire cop serve a warrant, if he has to be invited into a home?" by Royce Day

"Deliberate entry" is the name of an existing SWAT tactic. This is not it. Dynamic entry versus deliberate entry at


I really like this. Solid writing, and a funny as well.

Now that you've got me thinking about it though, I'm inclined toward considering a legally binding search warrant an 'invitation' for the purposes of authorized beings. So that a vampire cop, for instance, wouldn't be stuck outside while their partner entered alone. This would be especially important for SWAT entries, because a door team composed of the undead would be a much more difficult thing to stop than mortal cops.

It'd be a good twist for a modern fantasy cop series. Introducing new language into standard warrants so instead of 'hereby authorized to enter and search the premises' it would be closer to 'Officers are hereby invited to enter and search the building as needed in pursuit of justice'.

I'm reminded of the Dresden Files - Jim Butcher does a good job of explaining why beings of power require invitation. Not sure if this method of circumvention would work, though, in tha world.. Sounded like the home itself develops a power all it's own, and to enter in any manner uninvited would push tha power onto the intruder an make them virtually helpless.

Still, the solution does seem Dresden Files-esque... ^^

I suspect that demolition would work in the Dresdenverse. A place can only qualify as a home if it's livable and demolishing the whole wall would fix that problem, although it would probably need to be the entire wall and not just making a hole.

That said, Dresden's beasties aren't physically prevented from entry, they're just rendered much weaker by ignoring the need for an invitation.

I don't remember anything about that in the one volume of that series I read, and one thing I like about fantasy is that every writer can make up their own rules. :)

The modern source I've seen it come up in most often is Buffy, but my inspirations include superstitions and traditions pointing at the importance of thresholds and doors themselves, e.g. the old tradition of burying an animal under the threshold of a new house to protect the building, or the blessing at Epiphany being chalked on the door frame.

How did I immediately know the warrant-server was a vampire? I guess that no-entry thing is really getting tested. Must make that an unfortunate job.

Yep. Well, using existing tropes makes keeping these short easier. :)

Thanks for your comment!