S.D.Cal.: Scope of a parole search is based on RS parolee is in control of specific place searched

The scope of a parole search has to be based on at least reasonable suspicion that the place to be searched was under the control of the parolee. There was no evidence available that showed he had joint control of the bedroom. In the bedroom was somebody else’s stuff, not defendant’s. United States v. Patterson, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124381 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 4, 2017):

Applying these principles to the parole search here, the Court finds that the POs did not have “reasonable suspicion” to believe that Miller exercised complete or joint control over bedroom No. 2. See Bolivar, 670 F.3d at 1096. The Government has not presented sufficient evidence to support that Miller had “joint access or control for most purposes.” The POs did not know whether Miller was on the apartment lease or whether he paid rent, which would have strengthened the belief that he exercised joint control over the entire apartment. Nor were the POs aware of a special relationship between Miller and the cohabitant of bedroom No. 2 that may have given rise to a presumption of control of property. When the Court asked PO Schmidt what served as the basis for his determination that Miller had control over bedroom No. 2, he stated: “Okay. Well, the keys on his chain opened the apartment, and the bedrooms inside were open and unlocked. There was no expectation of privacy to any other resident that they had a separate dominion and control given that they shared the kitchen, the one bathroom, and the doors were open.” (Tr. 101:23-102:7) Though the fact that Miller had access to and possessions in the common areas is enough to establish that he had joint authority over shared spaces, it is insufficient to establish that he had joint authority over a cohabitant’s separate bedroom. Additionally, the mere fact that the doors were open is also not enough to support a reasonable belief that Miller had joint control over the second bedroom, as the standard is not general access, but rather “joint access or control for most purposes.” Woods, 21 Cal.4th at 681 (emphasis added).

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