MN: When prosecution shows private search doctrine applies, defense has burden to show government action

When a defendant moves to suppress the evidence obtained from a warrantless search and the State proves that the private search doctrine applies, the burden to show that the private party was acting on behalf of the government falls on the party seeking suppression of the evidence. The Rules of Evidence do not apply with full force during suppression hearings. The warrantless search of defendant’s personal online cloud storage account did not violate the Fourth Amendment because the search by law enforcement officers did not exceed the scope of the private search performed by an employee of the online cloud storage account company. State v. Pauli, 2022 Minn. LEXIS 337 (Aug. 24, 2022).

A man in a red pickup truck was suspected of casing a convenience store, and the police pulled up on it. Then the occupant fled. The investigation put defendant in possession of the truck at the time (his brother owned it), and this was abandonment. Defendant’s efforts to distance himself from being at the scene only underscore his lack of a reasonable expectation of privacy. United States v. Tsatenawa, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151843 (W.D. Tex. Aug. 24, 2022).

Officers on patrol passed a car parked on the street and thought they smelled marijuana coming from it. They turned around and came back and stopped along side it. The exchange became a stop and it was with reasonable suspicion. United States v. Lee, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152057 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 24, 2022).*

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