CA9: Even conceding potential 4A violations, there was independent source for SW

Even assuming multiple Fourth Amendment violations, the exclusionary rule would not be applied because the police had an independent source in a search warrant that did not depend on the illegal entry. An anticipatory warrant was contemplated but never sought. (There were digital photographs with metadata showing the search occurred before the warrant issued.) United States v. Saelee, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 28234 (9th Cir. Oct. 11, 2022):

For purposes of our analysis, we will follow the district court in assuming, without deciding, that the agents committed the following asserted violations of the Fourth Amendment: (1) without a warrant, they “encroach[ed] upon the curtilage of [Saelee’s] home with the intent to arrest” him, see United States v. Lundin, 817 F.3d 1151, 1160 (9th Cir. 2016); (2) they arrested Saelee in his home without a warrant and in the absence of exigent circumstances, see Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 589-60 (1980); and (3) before obtaining a warrant, they entered the apartment and conducted an extensive search, which well exceeded the scope of a protective sweep or a permissible securing of the premises, and seized the delivered packages, Saelee’s cell phone and wallet, and the ammunition in his bedroom, see Maryland v. Buie, 494 U.S. 325, 327 (1990); Segura v. United States, 468 U.S. 796, 810 (1984) (plurality); Payton, 445 U.S. at 587-88. As noted earlier, however, it is undisputed that, prior to the issuance of the warrant, nothing was removed from the premises and the contents of Saelee’s cell phone were not examined. See supra at 6.

Even assuming that these violations of the Fourth Amendment occurred, that does not necessarily mean that suppression of evidence is warranted. The exclusionary rule–“a prudential doctrine created by th[e] [Supreme] Court to compel respect for the constitutional guaranty” of the Fourth Amendment, Davis v. United States, 564 U.S. 229, 236 (2011) (simplified)–is “applicable only … where its deterrence benefits outweigh its substantial social costs,” Hudson v. Michigan, 547 U.S. 586, 591 (2006) (simplified). The rule is therefore subject to certain well-established exceptions, one of which “has come to be known as the ‘independent source’ doctrine.” Murray v. United States, 487 U.S. 533, 537 (1988); see also Utah v. Strieff, 579 U.S. 232, 238 (2016). Under that doctrine, suppression is unwarranted, even where evidence was “initially discovered during, or as a consequence of, an unlawful search,” when that evidence is “later obtained independently[,] from activities untainted by the initial illegality.” Murray, 487 U.S. at 537. This exception ensures that the police will be placed “in the same, not a worse, position that they would have been in if no police error or misconduct had occurred.” Id. (quoting Nix v. Williams, 467 U.S. 431, 443 (1984)).

. . .

Because all of the tangible and intangible evidence obtained as a result of the alleged Fourth Amendment violations was independently rediscovered or reseized when the agents executed a search warrant that was both sought and issued independently of any such violations, the district court correctly denied Saelee’s motion to suppress.

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