Category Archives: Rule 41(g) / Return of property

CA11: Denial of 41(g) motion for return of property not appealable while case or investigation is going on

Denial of a Rule 41(g) motion for return of property lacks jurisdiction for an interlocutory appeal when there’s a pending criminal investigation. Burke v. United States, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 12590 (11th Cir. May 24, 2024). “Considering the totality of … Continue reading

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CA5: CBP dog sniffing for people was PC even if it couldn’t differentiate between the driver and alleged hidden passengers

A CBP dog trained to sniff for people provided reasonable suspicion even against the argument of how the dog could differentiate between the truck driver and hidden passengers. United States v. Martinez, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 12043 (5th Cir. May … Continue reading

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N.D.Okla.: Cell phones possessed by tribal police not subject to return under Rule 41(g)

Motion for return of cell phones is denied. They are in the possession of the Muskogee Creek Nation tribal police, not the federal government. United States v. Smith, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87341 (N.D. Okla. May 15, 2024). Motion for … Continue reading

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PA: With PC, moving a car to a police location for a SW was reasonable

Probable cause was developed on the streets for search of defendant’s car for drug evidence when officers saw him take money, return to the car, get something small, and return to the payor, twice. Removing the car to a different … Continue reading

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E.D.Cal.: Motion for return of property can’t be granted while criminal proceedings still pending

A motion for return of property involved in a criminal case can’t be entertained until all proceedings have concluded. Here, the 2255 has neither been filed nor resolved. United States v. Kindley, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31431 (E.D. Cal. Feb. … Continue reading

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CA9: Wholesale inventory searches of private safe deposit boxes in SW for business was unreasonable

US Private Vaults case reversed. The search of USPV’s 700 safe deposit boxes for inventory was unreasonable. The FBI obtained a warrant for USPV’s business because of its business practices, and this search of the safe deposit boxes of customers … Continue reading

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OH6: Return of property can’t be by motion to suppress after PG

Defendant’s motion for return of his cell phone after his guilty plea was pled as a motion to suppress. Denied. He can do it over if he gets it right. State v. Cousino, 2024-Ohio-114, 2024 Ohio App. LEXIS 110 (6th … Continue reading

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OH8: State showed need for evidence for further investigation after indictment dismissed without prejudice so no return

Evidence was seized, including a cell phone, and defendant was charged with a violent crime. As the case progressed to trial, the state moved to dismiss without prejudice so it could investigate further. Defendant sought return of the evidence. On … Continue reading

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CA2: Pending 2255 petition justifies denial of Rule 41(g) petition

The business’s petition for return of records obtained by search warrant and grand jury subpoena is denied. The business’s principal is still litigating his criminal case and a 2255 is pending, and that justifies it. Allen v. Grist Mill Capital … Continue reading

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D.Mass.: Plea agreement foreclosed return of property

Defendant’s plea agreement foreclosed his Rule 41(g) motion for return of property. United States v. Spencer, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206257 (D. Mass. Nov. 17, 2023). Defendant’s motion to reconsider denial of his motion to suppress the timeliness of his … Continue reading

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S.D.N.Y.: If the SW lacks PC, the remedy is a motion to suppress, not a motion to rescind the SW via 41(g)

Defendant filed a motion for the court to rescind the search warrant for his cell phone under Rule 41(g) because it was allegedly defective. The remedy is a motion to suppress, not to rescind. United States v. Cardenas, 2023 U.S. … Continue reading

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S.D.Cal.: A pending forfeiture action in another district justifies dismissal of Rule 41(g) motion because there is another remedy

This is a Rule 41(g) action for return of property, a superyacht owned by a Russian oligarch seized allegedly in violation of Russian sanctions. The next day, a forfeiture action was filed in the S.D.N.Y., and that provided an adequate … Continue reading

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OH11: Person seeking return of property seized need not provide actual evidence in the petition

In a petition for return of property seized from a business, it was only required to show a possessory interest and likelihood of return. An evidentiary quality response isn’t required. State v. Allen, 2023-Ohio-4032, 2023 Ohio App. LEXIS 3869 (11th … Continue reading

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GA: SW for things that were not controlled substances entitles target to return of the property

The search warrant here was for delta-8,9,10-THC but 8 and 10 are not controlled substances. Lacking probable cause for them, the search target is entitled to return of its property. Elements Distribution v. State, 2023 Ga. App. LEXIS 535 (Nov. … Continue reading

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CA8: Seizure of cell phone off person by SW wasn’t outrageous conduct warranting return

Seizure of plaintiff’s cell phone by search warrant off his person in a Hardee’s drive thru wasn’t outrageous governmental conduct justifying return of the phone under Rule 41(g). Also, the equitable claim that the phone is necessary for business purposes … Continue reading

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E.D.Wis.: Innocent person whose property was seized can petition in criminal case for return of property

The court finds it has ancillary jurisdiction over a return of property question not directly involved in this case. Petitioner owned it and it was at the place searched and does hold evidence of crime. United States v. Solberg, 2023 … Continue reading

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NV: Target of seizure may seek return of privileged documents during investigation

Even when documents are seized during an ongoing investigation, the target can seek return of privileged documents. The trial court erred in not “affording appellants an opportunity to challenge that determination [of lack of privilege] prior to disclosure.” In re … Continue reading

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CA8: Shot fired call from house resulted in protective sweep when door was answered by man matching description

Officers responding to a call about a shot fired from a window found a man answering the door matching the 911 description. A protective sweep was thus permissible. Defendant also consented to the entry. United States v. Williams, 2023 U.S. … Continue reading

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M.D.Ala.: Failure to back up CI made SW lack PC

Relying on a CI without backing him up failed to show probable cause. “With these guiding principles in mind, the undersigned concludes the search warrant affidavit here did not provide a substantial basis for finding probable cause to believe narcotics … Continue reading

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CA10: Govt has to be shown to have property to be ordered to return it under Rule 41(g)

The district court lacked jurisdiction to order return of property under Rule 41(g) because it could not be shown that the government was in possession of the hard drive defendant sought return of. United States v. Toombs, 2023 U.S. App. … Continue reading

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