CA8: Motel operator could consent to search for drugs he found cleaning room, and defendant didn’t even know

Defendant rented a hotel room for two nights. He was warned no illegal conduct. After the first night, the motel operator entered to clean the room. The mattress had been moved, so the operator lifted it to move it back seeing a backpack. He opened the backpack thinking that a prior occupant had left it. It was defendant’s and he saw drugs. He called the police. The motel operator could declare the room vacant under state law and consent to the search. United States v. Winder, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 8023 (8th Cir. Apr. 4, 2024).

Counsel’s failure to attempt to notify a parent of a juvenile hearing was based on judicial deception because the truth would not have resulted in taking the kids away. “In this case, Vazquez and Johnson’s acts of judicial deception ‘were not made under pressing circumstances requiring prompt action, or those providing ambiguous or conflicting guidance,’ such as when a law enforcement officer is faced with a sudden threat of deadly force in a public setting.” Rieman v. Vazquez, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 7760 (9th Cir. Mar. 5, 2024).*

Minor mistakes in the affidavit for warrant were neither material nor prejudicial to defendant. CoA denied. Harris v. United States, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 7797 (6th Cir. Apr. 1, 2024).*

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