D.Nev.: Six days to draft a cell phone SW was reasonable

The government was diligent in getting a warrant over six days, including a weekend, where the agents and the USAO spent most of three days drafting it. “Still, the Fourth Amendment obligated the United States to ‘diligently obtain[ ] a warrant.’ McArthur, 531 U.S. at 334. In this case, the delay between the seizure of Defendant’s cell phone and the date the search warrant was submitted and obtained was six days. The interview ended and Defendant was returned home after business hours on Friday, December 6, 2019. Over the next three days, agents worked on the search warrant affidavit, which they presented to the USAO on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. The USAO and agents then engaged in editing the document over the next two days, and the search warrant was submitted to a magistrate judge and issued on December 12, 2019. The Court therefore finds – under the totality of the circumstances — that the government acted diligently in obtaining the search warrant. Therefore, the Court also finds that the six-day delay was reasonable. See Laist, 702 F.3d at 616-617.” And, the request for a hearing to develop record without saying why was essentially a throw away line that could be ignored. United States v. Gabelman, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92340 (D. Nev. May 5, 2020), adopted, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91132 (D. Nev. May 26, 2020):

5. Defendant alternatively requests an evidentiary hearing “to permit further factual development.” Id. at 4. Defendant fails, however, to cite to any authority or to develop his argument in any manner as to what further factual development would be necessary or why this request is an “alternative” to his request for suppression. He relies, instead, on one bare sentence at the end of his conclusion to his motion. Id. Courts address only well-developed arguments. See, e.g., On Demand Direct Response, LLC v. McCart-Pollak, 2018 WL 2014067, at *1 & n.2 (D. Nev. Apr. 30, 2018). Therefore, the Court need not address this request.

Comment: In evaluating delay like this, one thing the court should consider is the preference for warrants and the officers’ good faith in taking the time to draft a proper warrant request should not be penalized. If they’d waited a week and then spent an hour on the request, then the defense would have something. Under the longstanding rationale that search warrants are presumed valid and the statement of probable cause should be construed to sustain them whenever possible (Ventresca), care and diligence should be rewarded, and there shouldn’t be a countdown clock when they show it.

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