Search and Seizure - Ownership required?

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truevines
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:16 pm

Search and Seizure - Ownership required?

Postby truevines » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:10 pm

Hi, I hope for some answers to my confusion.

To have standing to challenge a search and seizure under the 4A

one must have 1) a reasonable expectations in the place/area searched
and 2) substantial ownership interest in the item seized.

I know the first part, I am not sure whether the 2nd part is the correct rule.

Hypo 1 - searched a girl's purse, found cokes; man admitted that's his -- no reasonable expectation of privacy in the purse -> no standing -> cokes admissible.

Hypo 2- search a man's car; found the cokes he possesses - have standing to challenge.

Now the question comes:

Hypo 3- search a man's car, found counterfeit money that does not belong to him.

Does this guy have standing to challenge the seizure of the counterfeit money? How about the search of his car?

Thanks in advance.

heeloftar
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:45 am

Re: Search and Seizure - Ownership required?

Postby heeloftar » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:24 pm

truevines wrote:Hi, I hope for some answers to my confusion.

To have standing to challenge a search and seizure under the 4A

one must have 1) a reasonable expectations in the place/area searched
and 2) substantial ownership interest in the item seized.

I know the first part, I am not sure whether the 2nd part is the correct rule.

Hypo 1 - searched a girl's purse, found cokes; man admitted that's his -- no reasonable expectation of privacy in the purse -> no standing -> cokes admissible.

Hypo 2- search a man's car; found the cokes he possesses - have standing to challenge.

Now the question comes:

Hypo 3- search a man's car, found counterfeit money that does not belong to him.

Does this guy have standing to challenge the seizure of the counterfeit money? How about the search of his car?

Thanks in advance.


My understanding is that you can get to #1 through #2, but it's not the only way. As in, the legitimate possessory interest can give rise to the reasonable expectation of privacy. Don't take my word as gospel, however.

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I.P. Daly
Posts: 920
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:27 pm

Re: Search and Seizure - Ownership required?

Postby I.P. Daly » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:44 pm

truevines wrote:Hypo 1 - searched a girl's purse, found cokes; man admitted that's his -- no reasonable expectation of privacy in the purse -> no standing -> cokes admissible.

Hypo 2- search a man's car; found the cokes he possesses - have standing to challenge.

Now the question comes:

Hypo 3- search a man's car, found counterfeit money that does not belong to him.

Does this guy have standing to challenge the seizure of the counterfeit money? How about the search of his car?

Thanks in advance.


I'm not sure what "cokes" is, but it sounds criminal.

Hypo 1:
Fourth Amendment rights are personal rights which, like some other constitutional rights, may not be vicariously asserted. See, e.g., Rakas v. Illinois. Thus, the defendant probably does not have standing to challenge the search.

You'd need more facts for hypos 2 & 3.

Under Arizona v. Gant (2009), the court held that police may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle incident to a recent occupant's arrest (and therefore without a warrant) only if it is reasonable to believe that the arrestee might access the vehicle at the time of the search or that the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of arrest.

Also, there are a ton of ways to get illegally obtained evidence in at trial (plain view doctrine, open fields doctrine, exigent circumstances, "officer safety," searches incident to arrest, inventory search exception, good faith exception, inevitable discovery...).

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Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Search and Seizure - Ownership required?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:27 pm

truevines wrote:Hi, I hope for some answers to my confusion.

To have standing to challenge a search and seizure under the 4A

one must have 1) a reasonable expectations in the place/area searched
and 2) substantial ownership interest in the item seized.

I know the first part, I am not sure whether the 2nd part is the correct rule.

Hypo 1 - searched a girl's purse, found cokes; man admitted that's his -- no reasonable expectation of privacy in the purse -> no standing -> cokes admissible.

Hypo 2- search a man's car; found the cokes he possesses - have standing to challenge.

Now the question comes:

Hypo 3- search a man's car, found counterfeit money that does not belong to him.

Does this guy have standing to challenge the seizure of the counterfeit money? How about the search of his car?

Thanks in advance.


Consider buying Dressler's Understanding Criminal Procedure: Investigations. He covers this pretty in depth.

To answer question directly--it's like the poster above said: #2 is just one of the ways to get to #1. You can have a reasonable expectation of privacy with something you don't own. The pills in the purse case you mention could have maybe come out differently if the guy was the only person to use the purse (besides the girl), no one else but the girl and the guy had access to the purse, he knew the girl well, and he had kept things in the purse before.

jkay
Posts: 399
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 2:47 pm

Re: Search and Seizure - Ownership required?

Postby jkay » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:06 pm

See also Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U.S. 103 (2006) (A physically present co-occupant's stated refusal to permit entry prevails, rendering the warrantless search unreasonable and invalid as to him.)

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Search and Seizure - Ownership required?

Postby Renzo » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:14 pm

I think the trick to getting this straight in your mind is to separate the search itself from the results of the search. Make sure the person asserting the right is the same person whose privacy was invaded.

If you personally have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place/object/etc., then you can assert your fourth amendment rights. But, no matter how outrageously unreasonable a search is, if you weren't personally the "holder" of the expectation of privacy in whatever was searched, then you have suffered no constitutional harm--even if the fruits of the search put you in jail.




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