CA11: Writ for body attachment for unpaid child support supports search incident

“This appeal presents a question of first impression about the Fourth Amendment: Can the police arrest someone based solely on a civil writ of bodily attachment for unpaid child support? Ted Phillips appeals his conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm and an armed career criminal, 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(e)(1). A police officer discovered Phillips’s firearm while arresting him on a writ of bodily attachment …. Phillips argues that the firearm should have been suppressed, but we disagree. Writs of bodily attachment are ‘Warrants’ within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, U.S. Const. Amend. IV, so the officer found the firearm during a valid search incident to arrest.” The common law supports this conclusion. United States v. Phillips, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15419 (11th Cir. Aug. 23, 2016).

See Orin Kerr in WaPo: Does the Fourth Amendment allow arrest warrants for civil offenses?

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