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United States v. Tookes

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 11, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JEROME TOOKES, Defendant.

          ORDER FINDING BY A PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE THAT DEFENDANT VIOLATED SUPERVISED RELEASE CONDITIONS 1 AND 2

          PAUL D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         In finding, by a preponderance of the evidence, violations of supervised release conditions numbered 1 and 2, the Court relies upon the evidence lawfully discovered by a law enforcement warrantless search at the 19368 Andover Street residence, and the testimony and exhibits introduced at the April 18, 2018 evidentiary hearing. The Court finds that the Government has met its burden to support an exception to the search warrant requirement based upon testimony and evidence introduced at the evidentiary hearing on April 18, 2018. The Court finds that the evidence supports its application of the exigent circumstances exception and/or emergency aid exception to the search warrant requirement. The Court does not find that the police "manufactured" the applicable exception(s) to the search warrant requirement.

         The following quotations from relevant Supreme Court decisions inform the Court's ruling:

Kentucky v. King, 131 S.Ct. 1849 (2011).
It is a basic principle of Fourth Amendment law, that searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable. At 1856 (citation omitted).
One well-recognized exception applies when the exigencies of the situation make the needs of law enforcement so compelling that [a] warrantless search is objectively reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. Id. (citation omitted).
This Court has identified several exigencies that may justify a warrantless search of a home. Under the "emergency aid" exception, for example, officers may enter a home without a warrant to render emergency assistance to an injured occupant or to protect an occupant from imminent injury. Id. (citation omitted).
Police officers may enter premises without a warrant when they are in hot pursuit of a fleeing suspect. And [t]he need to prevent the imminent destruction of evidence. Id. (citation omitted).
Over the years, lower courts have developed an exception to the exigent circumstances rule, the so-called "police-created exigency" doctrine... [L]aw enforcement officers must be responding to an unanticipated exigency rather than simply creating the exigency for themselves. Id. at 1857 (citation omitted).
Destruction of evidence issues probably occur most frequently in drug cases because drugs may be easily destroyed by flushing them down a toilet or rinsing them down a drain. Id.
Our cases have repeatedly rejected a subjective approach, asking only whether "the circumstances, viewed objectively, justify the action." .... Indeed, we have never held ... that an officer's motive invalidates objectively justifiable behavior under the Fourth Amendment." Id. at 1859 (citation omitted).
We have noted that "[t]he calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments - in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving." The reasonable forseeability test would create unacceptable and unwarranted difficulties for law enforcement officers who must make quick decisions in the field, as well as for Judges who would be required to determine after the fact whether the destruction of evidence in response to a knock on the door was reasonably forseeable based on what officers knew at the time. Id. at 1860..

Michigan v. Fisher, 130 S.Ct. 546 (2009)

Officers do not need ironclad proof of "a likely serious, life-threatening" injury to invoke the emergency aid exception. Id. at 549 ...

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