SW Legal studies in Business

Court Cannot Issue a Search Warrant to Be Executed Beyond Court Jurisdiction
Description

Appeals court held that evidence gathered by California police, based on a warrant issued by an Ohio state judge, violated the defendantís Fourth Amendment rights. The court had no right to issue a warrant that would be enforced outside of the jurisdiction of the court.

Topic Constitutional Law
Key Words

Fourth Amendment; Warrant; Evidence; State Lines

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Shultz entrusted Jacob with 313 Hummel figurines with the understanding that Jacob would photograph them and offer them for sale on the Internet; Jacob would get a commission from the sales. Jacob disappeared and Shultz learned that Jacob had sold some of the figurines to a buyer in New York and that Jacob had gone to California. Shultz files charges for theft for more than $100,000. Jacob was indicted in Ohio court. Ohio police obtained a search warrant to search a residence, believed to be occupied by Jacob, in California. The police sent the warrant to police in California, who then searched the residence and confiscated many Hummel figurines, bank documents, computers and other things that could be related to selling the figurines. Jacob was arrested and extradited to Ohio for trial. Jacob moved to suppress the evidence from California, contending that the warrant was unlawfully executed; Ohio warrants cannot be executed by police in other states. The trial court held that while the warrant was executed outside the jurisdiction of the Ohio court, it did not violate Jacobís constitutional rights because another court would have issued the same warrant and the police acted in good faith. Jacob was found guilty and appealed.

Decision

Reversed. The evidence should have been suppressed as the Fourth Amendment was violated. A judge can issue a valid search warrant only within his or her courtís jurisdiction. Crossing state lines to enforce a warrant violates that rule. The fact that the police acted in good faith does not mean that Jacobís rights were not violated.

Citation

State v. Jacob, 2009 WL 5198171 (Ct. App., Ohio, 2009)

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