CA11: No jurisdiction to enjoin investigation after execution of SW

A District Court has no anomalous jurisdiction to bar the government from using evidence seized with a search warrant in an investigation. There are other remedies at the appropriate time. Trump v. United States. 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 33296 (11th Cir. Dec. 1, 2022):

“It is a familiar rule that courts of equity do not ordinarily restrain criminal prosecutions.” Douglas v. City of Jeannette, 319 U.S. 157, 163 (1943). To avoid unnecessary interference with the executive branch’s criminal enforcement authority—while also offering relief in rare instances where a gross constitutional violation would otherwise leave the subject of a search without recourse—this Circuit has developed an exacting test for exercising equitable jurisdiction over suits flowing from the seizure of property. Richey v. Smith instructs courts to consider four factors: (1) whether the government displayed a “callous disregard” for the plaintiff’s constitutional rights; (2) “whether the plaintiff has an individual interest in and need for the material whose return he seeks”; (3) “whether the plaintiff would be irreparably injured by denial of the return of the property”; and (4) “whether the plaintiff has an adequate remedy at law for the redress of his grievance.” 515 F.2d at 1243–44 (quotation omitted).

Plaintiff’s jurisdictional brief in the district court dispatched with all four of these inquiries in a single paragraph. But Richey’s inquiry is not as simple as that filing made it out to be.

When we examine Plaintiff’s arguments about the Richey factors, we notice a recurring theme. He makes arguments that—if consistently applied—would allow any subject of a search warrant to invoke a federal court’s equitable jurisdiction. That understanding of Richey would make equitable jurisdiction not extraordinary, “but instead quite ordinary.” United States v. Search of Law Office, Residence, and Storage Unit Alan Brown, 341 F.3d 404, 415 (5th Cir. 2003) (quotation omitted). Our precedents consistently reject this approach. We have emphasized again and again that equitable jurisdiction exists only in response to the most callous disregard of constitutional rights, and even then only if other factors make it clear that judicial oversight is absolutely necessary.

Plaintiff fails all four of these tests.

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