E.D.Cal.: Motion for return of property can’t be granted while criminal proceedings still pending

A motion for return of property involved in a criminal case can’t be entertained until all proceedings have concluded. Here, the 2255 has neither been filed nor resolved. United States v. Kindley, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31431 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 22, 2024). [Disclaimer: I represented Kindley in the E.D.Ark. where he got life.]

Whether the vehicle was included within the search warrant doesn’t matter because the protective sweep exception applied. United States v. Stephens, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 4151 (6th Cir. Feb. 21, 2024).*

“After carefully reviewing the record in light of the plain language and underlying rationale of our Supreme Court’s pivotal decision in Witt, we reverse the suppression order. So long as police satisfy the foundational requirements of probable cause, spontaneity, and unforeseeability, the authority to conduct an automobile-exception search lapses only after the vehicle has been removed to a secure location, not in anticipation of such removal. We decline defendants’ request to create a new bright-line rule making vehicles subject to John’s Law categorically ineligible for an on-scene search under the automobile exception.” State v. Courtney, 2024 N.J. Super. LEXIS 20 (Feb. 23, 2024).* [note 1: [John’s Law, codified in N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.22 and – 50.23, generally requires police to impound a vehicle for at least twelve hours when the driver is arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or refuses to submit to a chemical breath test.”]]

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