OH3: SW was clearly conclusory, but still saved by GFE

The affidavit to support the search warrant was clearly conclusory, but the court can’t say that the officers didn’t objectively rely on the search warrants for purposes of the good faith exception. It wasn’t in “bad faith,” so it must have been in “good faith.” State v. Owens, 2017-Ohio-2590, 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 1605 (3d Dist. May 1, 2017):

[*P22] Our review of the affidavits, as well as the judgment entry issued by the trial court demonstrates no evidence of any “bad faith” actions by law enforcement. While the affidavits contained, in large part, conclusory statements of law enforcement, there is nothing in the record indicating that such statements were false or made to mislead the magistrate. Consistent with George, there is nothing in the record to indicate that the magistrate or judge was misled by information in an affidavit that the affiant knew was false; nothing to indicate that the issuing magistrate wholly abandoned his judicial role; nothing to indicate that an officer relied on a warrant based on an affidavit lacking in indicia of probable cause as to render official belief in its existence entirely unreasonable; and lastly, nothing to indicate that in this particular case a warrant was so facially deficient that the executing officers could not reasonably presume it to be valid. Id. at 331. Given that the officers acted in good faith and in an objectively reasonable manner, we determine that even though there was not probable cause to support the issuance of the search warrants, the good faith exception allows the evidence recovered at the two locations to be used by the prosecution in their prosecution of Owens. The first assignment of error is accordingly overruled.

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