CA7 decides Franks IAC claim on merits: there is PC and the GFE applies; the issuing magistrate was not intentionally or recklessly misled

Defendant raised a Franks IAC claim, and the Seventh Circuit deals with the merits of the claim to determine that there was no Fourth Amendment violation, therefore no IAC. The district court concluded there was no probable cause but the good faith exception applied. The Seventh Circuit holds there was probable cause on the totality, and the good faith exception applied. The officer in the affidavit didn’t detail the history of the CI, but it was reasonable under the circumstances, and it was clear that it wasn’t to hide information from the issuing magistrate. Edmond v. United States, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21583 (7th Cir. Aug. 3, 2018):

When assessed in its entirety, the complaint was not so lacking in indicia of probable cause as to render a police officer’s reliance on the validity of the warrant objectively unreasonable. A litigant “establishes unreasonable reliance [on a warrant] if ‘courts have clearly held that a materially similar [complaint] previously failed to establish probable cause’ or the [complaint] is ‘plainly deficient'” on its face. Glover, 755 F.3d at 819 (quoting United States v. Woolsey, 535 F.3d 540, 548 (7th Cir. 2008)). We do not have here the kind of stale and conclusory complaint that we have held cannot support good-faith reliance. See, e.g., Owens v. United States, 387 F.3d 607, 608 (7th Cir. 2004) (declining to apply the good-faith exception where a “barebones affidavit” stated merely that “three months earlier an informant had bought ‘a quantity of crack’ … at a house believed to be [the petitioner’s] residence,” with no indication of the quantity of drugs or the reliability of the informant). Even though the district court invalidated the warrant due to temporal deficiencies in the complaint, those deficiencies were “not so egregious as to render [the officer’s] belief in the warrant’s validity unreasonable.” Mitten, 592 F.3d at 773. We therefore cannot accept Mr. Edmond’s first argument.

. . .

As part of the hearing on Mr. Edmond’s § 2255 motion, Officer Frano testified about his preparation of the complaint and explained why he had omitted the challenged information. Officer Frano readily admitted that, when preparing the complaint, he knew about the informant’s criminal history and pending drug charges. He explained, however, that the Chicago Police Department did not require officers to include this information at the time and that he had no reason to question the informant’s credibility. See United States v. Taylor, 471 F.3d 832, 840 (7th Cir. 2006) (“[A]n informant’s criminality does not in itself establish unreliability.”). Notably, the informant never had given him false information, and the informant’s prior convictions and pending charges did not relate to crimes of untruthfulness.

Officer Frano also testified that, at the time of the probable cause hearing, he was unaware of the informant’s recent bail revocation and outstanding arrest warrant. Although Mr. Edmond presented a criminal history report that indicated that an arrest warrant had been issued for the informant days before the probable cause hearing, the court believed Officer Frano’s testimony that he was unaware of the outstanding warrant at that time. The court also took account of the fact that Officer Frano did not “get [the informant] off the hook” after obtaining the warrant; indeed, the informant was sentenced to one year in prison for the felony drug charges. The court credited these explanations and found that Officer Frano did not act in reckless disregard of the truth.

The district court did not clearly err in crediting Officer Frano’s testimony that “he was not trying to hide anything from the judge” or “mislead the judge regarding the informant’s credibility.” We have considered the totality of the circumstances, including the informant’s proven reliability, the standard practices of the police department at the time, and the officer’s plausible testimony. Based on this record, it was entirely reasonable for the court to conclude that Officer Frano did not doubt the truth of the allegations in the complaint. Accordingly, we reject Mr. Edmond’s claim that Officer Frano acted in reckless disregard of the truth.

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