Fourth Amendment

The Federal Docket

United States v. Bechir Delva, Dan Kenny Delva (11th Cir. April 2019)

The Court affirmed the defendants’ convictions, holding, among other things, that there was probable cause to justify warrantless search of the defendant’s vehicle where officers could tie the vehicle to identity fraud, the defendant’s repeated use of an access device to obtain benefits reflected knowledge that the access device belonged to a real person, the government was allowed to use a detective as an expert witness on common slang terms in identity fraud cases, and the district court properly applied a firearm enhancement.

United States v. Willie Cooks (11th Cir. April 2019)

The Court held that a warrantless search of a boarded-up crawlspace in the defendant’s house was reasonable based on exigent circumstances indicating there may have been hostages in the crawlspace. Officers had just arrested the defendant after a stand-off that included hostages and during which officers heard the defendant using a power drill and were informed that the defendant was hiding something in the crawlspace.

United States v. Reginald Gibbs (11th Cir. March 2019)

The Court affirmed the denial of the defendant’s motion to suppress finding that the traffic stop leading to the search and seizure of the defendant’s firearm was reasonable despite the officers arriving with their guns drawn and the fact that the defendant was not the driver or otherwise suspected of any criminal activity. The defendant’s brief detention was reasonable given his proximity to the car and driver, and the officers drawing their guns did not affect the legality of the stop.

United States v. Lee Saint Fleur

United States v. Lee Saint Fleur, No. 18-11309 (February 20, 2019), UNPUBLISHED The Court affirmed the district court’s denial of a motion to suppress based on the independent source doctrine. The officer’s affidavit in support of the application for a search warrant contained sufficient evidence to support probable cause based on his initial entry into …

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United States v. Leonardo Triana (11th Cir. 2019) (Unpublished)

The Court affirmed the district court’s denial of a motion to suppress, holding that the traffic stop at issue was not unlawfully prolonged but rather became a consensual encounter. The Court held that a reasonable person would have felt free to leave based on the circumstances, which included the patrolman issuing the defendant a written warning and the defendant subsequently asking questions about where to fix his vehicle after receiving the warning.

United States v. Erickson Campbell (11th Cir. January 2019)

The Court overruled its prior “overall reasonableness” standard for prolonged stops and held that officer’s traffic stop was unreasonably prolonged by the officer asking questions unrelated to the stop. The Court further held that the good faith exception made suppression unwarranted despite the government waiving this issue on appeal.

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