D.Minn.: Assuming that the SW affidavit lacked PC, defendant makes no effort to show that the affidavit fit any of the exceptions to the GFE

By John Wesley Hall
Law Offices of John Wesley Hall
Nov 25, 2015

Even assuming that the search warrant affidavit lacked probable cause, defendant makes no effort to show that the affidavit fit any of the exceptions to the good faith exception. United States v. Pettis, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154439 (D.Minn. Oct. 28, 2015), adopted 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154254 (D. Minn. Nov. 16, 2015):

Assuming without deciding that the search warrants lacked requisite probable cause, and that at the moment Pettis was initially seized, Officer Braun lacked the requisite probable cause to initiate the seizure, the Court concludes that the evidence is nonetheless admissible under the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule as articulated in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 922, 104 S. Ct. 3405, 82 L. Ed. 2d 677 (1984). See also United States v. Clay, 646 F.3d 1124 (8th Cir. 2011) (“[T]he exclusionary rule should not be applied so as to bar the admission of evidence obtained by officers acting in reasonable reliance on a search warrant issued by a detached and neutral magistrate, even if that search warrant is later held to be invalid.” (citing Leon, 468 U.S. at 900)). The Eighth Circuit has outlined four situations where an officer’s reliance on a warrant would be unreasonable: (1) the officer included information in the affidavit that he knew was false or would have known was false except for his reckless disregard of the truth; (2) the affidavit is so lacking in probable cause that it is objectively unreasonable for the officer to rely on it; (3) the judge failed to act in a neutral and detached manner; or (4) the warrant is so facially deficient that the officer cannot reasonably presume the warrant to be valid. United States v. Phillips, 88 F.3d 582, 586 (8th Cir. 1996) (citing Leon, 468 U.S. at 922).

Here, the Defendant does not allege that the affidavits, which are nearly identical in both search warrants, included false information or that the affidavits themselves are objectively unreasonable. Additionally, Defendant does not contend that the judge failed to act in a neutral or detached manner in issuing the search warrants nor that the warrants were facially deficient. Finally, Defendant does not say that any evidence was taken from his person during an unlawful detention or that any such evidence was then used in an affidavit to obtain the search warrants in question. Defendant only contends that the ability to have sought out the search warrants was predicated on an unlawful stop that lacked probable cause. Assuming without deciding that Defendant was unlawfully arrested, the Court concludes that any evidence obtained pursuant to the search warrants is admissible under the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule.