MN: Return of digital copies of attorney’s files seized by SW was only issue and now moot; legality of SW comes later

The attorney here was the target of a search warrant for all her files where the attorney was the suspect, not a client. That distinguishes O’Connor. The parties, the client interveners, and amici have briefed all kinds of constitutional arguments but they aren’t before the court. The question here is only return of the property, and digital copies have been provided, so this part of the case is moot. The attorney still gets to litigate the legality of the search warrant later. K.M. v. Burnsville Police Dep’t (In re K.M.), 2020 Minn. LEXIS 119 (Mar. 11, 2020).

“Exigent circumstances justified Burk and Gowans’ entry into Harrison’s hotel room because the officers reasonably believed his mental state made him a danger to himself. The undisputed summary judgment evidence established that when Burk and Gowans entered Harrison’s hotel room, they knew that Harrison had told a family member he spent the day with their long-dead grandmother; he had told guests and hotel staff that he owned the hotel; he was regularly ordering room service and timing how long it took to arrive; he was speaking in a garbled manner and laughing maniacally as the officers approached his room; he did not seem to understand that Burk and Gowans were police officers instead of hotel employees, even after they told him so multiple times; and a guest in a neighboring room reported hearing screaming and glass breaking in Harrison’s room throughout the day. Under those circumstances it was reasonable for Burk and Gowans to conclude that Harrison was a danger to himself and that they needed to enter his hotel room for his own safety.” Harrison v. Davidson Hotel Co., LLC, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 7556 (11th Cir. Mar. 11, 2020).*

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