Garage Apt. not part of the main house for 4th Amendment Purposes

garage apartment - Google SearchToday the US Attorney’s office agreed to dismiss a criminal case where the search warrant listed the main house, but the police officers searched a separate garage apartment. In an interesting twist, the warrant was anticipatory – the police got it before the package was delivered by an undercover postal inspector, then burst in on Paul’s client.

Estimates are the 1 in 15 packages from certain zip codes contain marijuana. It may be the only thing growing at the Postal Service, and in parts of Northern California.

In this case, Paul relied on a line of case interpreting the particularity clause of the 4th Amendment. There’s some good law here. United States v. Kaye, 432 F.2d 647, 650 (DC Cir. 1970); United States v. Cannon, 264 F.3d 875, 879 (9th Cir. 2001).

And in State v. Devine, 768 P.2d 913 (Or. 1989), where the Court said:

“this cases stands for the proposition that a warrant for the search of certain premises applies only to those premises and that if, at some time during the search, separate premises are encountered and searched, the search of the latter is unauthorized without regard to whether the officers could have anticipated ahead of time that they would encounter those separate premises.”

Sound reasoning from Oregon’s highest court.

The warrant in Paul’s case named and described the main house, but omitted reference to a separate garage apartment, where the actual search and seizure took place. Factors courts consider in determining whether an area requires a separate warrant include whether it is a self-contained living area with its own entrance from the outside.

Happy to get this great result for a wonderful client.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

Fourth Amendment

Categories: Search & Seizure, search warrant

Tags: , ,

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