E.D.Pa.: This judge wouldn’t have signed this SW, but that’s not the standard of review

While this judge wouldn’t have issued the search warrant on the information provided, that’s not the standard of review. There was, in fact, a substantial basis for finding probable cause. United States v. Moore, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178263 (E.D.Pa. Sept. 20, 2021):

Jahkeem Moore asks the Court to suppress evidence obtained against him after execution of a search warrant for his apartment. If police officers had asked this Court for a warrant based on the evidence that they presented to a magistrate, the Court might have said, “No.” Or at least asked for more information before granting the warrant. But the Court does not have to conduct a de novo review to admit the evidence. Instead, it has to answer two questions. First, was there a substantial basis for the magistrate who issued the warrant to conclude that there was probable cause to conduct a search? Second, could the officers who executed the warrant rely on it in good faith, even if it was flawed?

If the answer to either question is “yes,” then the Court must deny Mr. Moore’s suppression motion. As it turns out, the answer to both questions is “yes.” That is, the magistrate had a substantial basis to find probable cause and issue the warrant, and, even if she did not, the officers could rely in good faith on the warrant to obtain the evidence. The Court will therefore deny Mr. Moore’s motion.

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