Semayne's Case Law and Legal Definition

Semayne’s case is an old English common law case, which held that a right of a home-owner to defend his/her premises against intrusion should yield to those seeking to enter under lawful authority like to make an arrest. The case was reported by Sir Edward Coke, who was the then Attorney General of England. The case is famous for Coke's quote that, “the house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defense against injury and violence as for his repose.” In the US, this case is recognized as establishing the knock and announce rule.