Post details: OH: An individual subject to an arrest warrant does not forfeit all expectations of privacy from illegal arrest

12/07/12

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OH: An individual subject to an arrest warrant does not forfeit all expectations of privacy from illegal arrest

An individual subject to an arrest warrant does not forfeit all expectations of privacy from illegal arrest. State v. Gardner, 2012 Ohio 5683, 135 Ohio St. 3d 99, 984 N.E.2d 1025 (2012):

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[*P1] In this appeal, we consider whether an individual who is the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant forfeits all expectations of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Ohio Constitution, Article I, Section 19. We hold that he does not. We therefore affirm the decision of the court of appeals, which had found error in the trial court's decision denying a motion to suppress based solely on the notion that an arrest warrant "cleanses" any error by police in seizing an individual later found to be subject to the warrant, and we remand to the trial court to consider whether police properly detained appellee, Damaad Gardner, before discovering that he was the subject of an active arrest warrant.

. . .

[*P16] "'No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law, than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law.'" Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 9, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968), quoting Union Pacific Ry. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251, 11 S.Ct. 1000, 35 L.Ed. 734 (1891). Thus, our constitutions forbid searches and seizures without warrants, except in a few narrow circumstances. See generally Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 357, 88 S.Ct. 507, 19 L.Ed.2d 576 (1967) (describing Fourth Amendment protections); State v. Buzzard, 112 Ohio St.3d 451, 2007 Ohio 373, 860 N.E.2d 1006, ¶ 13 ("If the state wishes to intrude on the individual's right to be secure in his person, house, paper, and effects by searching or seizing him or his things, the state must first secure a warrant. Section 14, Article I, Ohio Constitution").

[*P18] In its arguments here, the state casts aside these core concepts—embodied in both the federal and state constitutions and explained by the United States Supreme Court and this court—and insists that an individual who is the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant has no privacy interests and thus no standing to challenge a search by police. In support of its assertions, the state relies almost exclusively on Click and the line of cases that followed Click. State v. Hines, 2d Dist. No. 24346, 2012 Ohio 207, ¶ 14 (describing the line of cases that followed Click as "the tortured history" of that precedent).

[*P19] Click is not good law.

. . .

[*P22] It is true that a person subject to an arrest warrant does not enjoy the full panoply of privacy rights that other individuals enjoy. As the state contends, an arrest warrant authorizes the police to enter into an individual's home to seize him. Payton at 602-603. But the holding in those cases presupposes that the police knew that there was a warrant for the individual's arrest when entering a home to make an arrest. The state cites no authority, and we are aware of none, that supports a conclusion that a person who is the subject of an arrest warrant has no privacy protection.

[*P23] We will not condone the notion that the unlawfulness of an improper arrest or seizure always can be purged by the fortuitous subsequent discovery of an arrest warrant. As one federal court succinctly stated, "This argument is preposterous; the Fourth Amendment does not countenance such post hoc rationalization." Bruce v. Perkins, 701 F.Supp. 163, 165 (N.D.Ill.1988).

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