CA8: What officer knows that wasn’t in affidavit for SW can be considered in applying GFE

The officer presented the affidavit for search warrant for child pornography on a computer to the issuing judge who read it through and asked no questions. This did not make the judicial officer a “rubberstamp” for the police. Thus, the officer could rely on the magistrate’s determination of probable cause. The good faith exception applies. Defendant argues that the complexity of how child pornography could have gotten on his computer had be explained in more detail, but it didn’t. It could fairly be inferred that the officer had probable cause on the totality. Moreover, the court in the good faith inquiry could consider what the officer knew that wasn’t in the affidavit to show good faith. United States v. Dickerman, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 9849 (8th Cir. Mar. 30, 2020):

Moreover, as Dickerman acknowledges, the officers executing the search warrant knew more about the circumstances of the alleged offense than what Slaughter included in his affidavit. The officers were aware of additional information about Dr. Levine’s algorithm, such as its validity and error rate, as well as the fact that child pornography had been discovered in each of Becker’s similar Freenet investigations. Because we may consider “what the officer[s] knew but did not include in the affidavit” to decide whether their reliance on the warrant was objectively reasonable, see Farlee, 757 F.3d at 819, this additional information supports finding good faith, see Clay, 646 F.3d at 1127-28 (considering evidence “available to the officer, but not perhaps the judge,” to decide the officer acted in good faith).

This entry was posted in Good faith exception, Probable cause. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.