Category Archives: Probable cause

PA: With MMJ, smell of MJ alone isn’t PC for search of a car; more required

Because of medical marijuana being law in Pennsylvania, the smell of marijuana in a car alone is no longer enough for probable cause. More is required. Commonwealth v. Grooms, 2021 Pa. Super. LEXIS 79 (Feb. 24, 2021):

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GA: Contraband in plain view on def’s property didn’t justify warrantless entry to seize it

Officers’ entry onto abandoned property next door to defendant’s place to get a better view of his place was reasonable. He had no reasonable expectation of privacy there or in the view from there. However, they saw contraband in plain … Continue reading

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W.D.Mo.: No co-conspirator standing in GPS cell phone tracking

One co-conspirator has no standing in GPS tracking of his co-conspirator’s cell phone. The officers also had probable cause to search their car based on: knowledge they were cell phone store burglars, a Snapchat video with defendants having numerous cell … Continue reading

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HI: No PC shown for blood search warrant; no alcohol smell and disorientation was likely from head trauma

The state did not attempt to exhaust any possibilities that defendant’s disorientation wasn’t caused by likely head trauma because there was no probable cause otherwise that defendant had consumed alcohol. The search warrant for blood should not have issued. State … Continue reading

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OK Indian territory, McGirt v. Oklahoma, and the GFE

For a century, state officers investigated offenses on land that McGirt v. Oklahoma found were actually Indian lands. The good faith exception applies. The officer couldn’t have been expected to know that SCOTUS would finally hold as it did, and … Continue reading

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CA3: Warrant for roving wiretap didn’t have to call device a “cell site simulator” when it fully described it

The government obtained a roving wiretap for defendant’s cell phone with a cell site simulator. In the warrant application, they described in detail what a cell site simulator was, but it never said the words “cell site simulator.” It doesn’t … Continue reading

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CA10: Failure to specify CI’s criminal history didn’t make affidavit “bare bones” or justify a Franks hearing

Defendant was suspected of thefts of equipment from oil fields. An Oklahoma state investigator applied for a GPS warrant for defendant’s vehicle. The warrant was issued on probable cause with nexus, and the good faith exception applies. “Smith argues on … Continue reading

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CA3: Failure to factually plead lack of PC or malice for a 4A malicious prosecution claim makes it fail

Karkalas v. Marks, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 3868 (3d Cir. Feb. 11, 2021):

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D.N.M.: Tracing IP address to def does not require affiant exclude all other Internet users in area

Defendant was charged with stalking a former boss. A disguised email was traced by metadata to defendant’s router. His computer was searched, and the email was found. The question of probable cause for the search warrant does not require the … Continue reading

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CA11: GFE applies even if no PC, which was “hotly contested”

The good faith exception supports this search warrant, even if there wasn’t probable cause after a trash pull, an issue not decided. The existence of probable cause was “hotly contested.” United States v. Morales, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 3260 (11th … Continue reading

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CA6: SW for CP was completely lacking and GFE didn’t apply; no basis at all to search cell phone

A state search warrant was issued for alleged child porn on defendant’s computer and cell phone, and the district court suppressed for a clear lack of probable cause. The computer search required too many inferences to make probable cause. The … Continue reading

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S.D.W.Va.: This trash pull didn’t produce direct drug evidence or corroborate CI, so PC lacking

“The evidence supporting probable cause in this case, assuming its accuracy and reliability, consists of (a) an unspecified “high” number of people visiting for very short periods during an unspecified time frame and (b) trash containing five plastic bags with … Continue reading

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OR: Outstanding warrant on passenger alone doesn’t justify frisk of driver

The fact the passenger had an outstanding warrant didn’t show reasonable suspicion for a frisk of the driver for officer safety. State v. Goguen, 308 Ore. App. 706, 2021 Ore. App. LEXIS 75 (Jan. 27, 2021).* “We agree with the … Continue reading

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CA8: Officer wins two § 1983 cases in same day from E.D. Mo., Cape Girardeau

The officer had cause for defendant’s stop for a broken taillight and then found a warrant for his arrest. “Wood also alleges that after the fact, Wooten fabricated evidence about the arrest (and then invoked his Fifth Amendment right about … Continue reading

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E.D.Mich.: PC a close call, so GFE applies

“Ultimately, the Court need not decide which side of the Ramirez-Merriweather line [of probable cause] this case falls. It suffices to say that, especially because the search warrant affidavit makes no mention of any communications involving Jackson’s cell phone, it … Continue reading

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M.D.Tenn.: SW affiants should err on side of more information, not less

“[T]he warrant affidavit established probable cause to search the Residence, based on a combination of the smell of marijuana emanating from the Residence and the marijuana stem recovered in the trash pull. The affidavit reveals that three different MNPD officers … Continue reading

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