E.D.N.Y.: Def’s search incident of his backpack for fraudulent use of a Metrocard was valid at least on GFE and inevitable discovery

Defendant was stopped for using a school student’s Metrocard to get on the NYC subway because he looked and was a so older. His backpacked was removed, and he was handcuffed. His backpack was searched incident to his arrest. The law of search incident is so confusing that the court applies the good faith exception instead. Moreover, the backpack would have been inventoried anyway, and was. United States v. Sobers, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68921 (E.D. N.Y. Apr. 25, 2018):

2. Search Incident to an Arrest

The well established principle that a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest is justified can be put into a nutshell. It is one thing to put it into a nutshell it is another thing to keep it there when the search incident to a lawful arrest is of purses, wallets, backpacks, suitcases, and other such appurtenances so closely connected to or attached to the person arrested. The cases addressing this issue are voluminous and impossible to reconcile in any logical or rational way.
The Court is persuaded by the brief but compelling view of Justice Alito in Davis v. United States, 564 U.S. 229, 238, 131 S. Ct. 2419, 180 L. Ed. 2d 285 (2011), that

The basic insight of the Leon line of cases is that the deterrence benefits of exclusion “var[y] with the culpability of the law enforcement conduct” at issue. When the police exhibit “deliberate,” “reckless,” or “grossly negligent” disregard for Fourth Amendment rights, the deterrent value of exclusion is strong and tends to outweigh the resulting costs. But when the police act with an objectively “reasonable good-faith belief” that their conduct is lawful or when their conduct involves only simple, “isolated” negligence the “‘deterrence rationale loses much of its force,'” and exclusion cannot “pay its way.”

Davis, 564 U.S. at 238 (internal and parallel citations omitted).

A thorough and comprehensive review of this totally irreconcilable line of cases with a view to divining a coherent, comprehensive theory that would reconcile them need not be undertaken now to decide this case. The unassailable application of the inevitable discovery exception discussed below compels the denial of this motion and makes that undertaking unnecessary.

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