Category Archives: Plain view, feel, smell

NJ: Officer’s purpose in momentarily putting head in window of car was to hear def over road noise was not search; plain smell sustained

The officer momentarily put his head in the window of defendant’s car to better hear him, and then he smelled marijuana. The purpose of the intrusion was benign and not to conduct a search, and it was not unreasonable. State … Continue reading

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VA: Gun in plain view left in car was seizable under Long

Defendant fled from a car, and a gun was in plain view in the car. The officer acted reasonably in searching the car to secure the firearm under Michigan v. Long [aside from abandonment of the car] because defendant could … Continue reading

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AZ: Trial court didn’t make finding on Strickland IAC prejudice for failure to argue curtilage; remanded

Defense counsel deliberatedly didn’t make a claim officers violated curtilage in their initial entry to defendant’s property. The first search warrant application was rejected by one judge. The affidavit was redrafted with additional facts and presented to a second judge … Continue reading

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N.D.Tex.: PV of short-barreled rifle and silencer was valid; incriminating nature immediately apparent

The incriminating nature of a short-barreled rifle and a homemade suppressor was immediately apparent for plain view purposes. United States v. Tidrow, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81807 (N.D. Tex. May 15, 2018). “Prior to the stop of the vehicle, law … Continue reading

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WY: Patdown led to plain feel of drugs in watch pocket

During a patdown, the officer felt what was likely drugs in the “coin pocket” (called a watch pocket) and it was immediately apparent to him. Therefore, plain feel applied. Maestas v. State, 2018 WY 47, 2018 Wyo. LEXIS 49 (May … Continue reading

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W.D.Okla.: SW for vehicles and “appurtenances” didn’t include a car and camper 100′ from house off the curtilage

The search warrant for defendant’s dwelling included vehicles and “appurtenances” on the land. Defendant’s vehicle and camper were about 100′ from the dwelling, and the court finds they were not on the curtilage of the dwelling. Moreover, the good faith … Continue reading

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S.D.N.Y.: Envelopes seen in plain view during arrest suggested drug proceeds and was valid plain view

Officers had an arrest warrant and took defendant into custody. A protective sweep was done and plain view observations were made, including cash in envelopes. The plain view, but without mention of the cash, was used to get a search … Continue reading

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E.D.Ky.: A cell phone left in an abandoned car is also abandoned

A cell phone left in an abandoned car is also abandoned. United States v. Green, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75738 (E.D. Ky. May 4, 2018). The police had a search warrant for animal fighting for the dogs and papers for … Continue reading

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PA: Def consented to recordings of jail calls, and this is an exception to the state wiretap statute

The trial court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law were completely wrong. Defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy concerning his jail calls made over a television monitor and through a computer system. This was a case of consent … Continue reading

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D.Neb.: The gov’t put def on notice standing was an issue, and def didn’t respond with proof; no standing

The government argued no standing. “Despite being on notice that standing was an issue, Defendant did not introduce evidence at the suppression hearing to establish his relationship to the property searched in this case.” Going to the merits anyway, defendant … Continue reading

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W.D.N.C.: 2255 is not the place to first litigate a suppression motion

2255 petitioner can’t raise his search and seizure claim via post-conviction relief where there was no effort to pursue the issue in the case on the merits. Even if he could, he’d lose on the merits of the search because … Continue reading

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MS: “Catch all” phrase in SW that permitted seizure of that which was found in plain view was merely a restatement of the plain view doctrine

A “catch all” phrase that permitted seizure of that which was found in the course of a valid search was merely a restatement of the plain view doctrine, and that doesn’t justify suppression. Defendant’s other scope of search claim was … Continue reading

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