United States v. Pineda-Moreno

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 08-06-2012
  • Case #: 08-30385
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge O’Scannlain for the Court; Circuit Judge N. R. Smith and District Judge Wolle
  • Full Text Opinion

Evidence is not subject to the exclusionary rule when government agents act in objectively reasonable reliance on then-binding precedent regarding the method used to obtain the evidence.

In 2007, Pineda-Moreno was indicted for manufacturing and conspiring to manufacture marijuana. Important evidence in the matter was based upon mobile tracking devices that DEA agents had placed on Pineda-Moreno’s vehicle, without a warrant. Moreno-Pineda moved to suppress the evidence under the Fourth Amendment as an unreasonable search and seizure, without a warrant. The district court denied the motion. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit judgment and remanded the case to the Ninth Circuit for consideration in light of United States v. Jones. On remand, the Ninth Circuit noted that Jones had not been decided at the time the DEA agents placed the mobile tracking devices. The Court also noted that the DEA agents acted in “objectively reasonable reliance on then-binding precedent” when they attached the devices while the vehicle was in public areas and then monitored the devices. The Ninth Circuit held that evidence gathered from mobile tracking attached to Pineda-Moreno’s car was not subject to the exclusionary rule where agents reasonably relied on then-binding precedent in obtaining the evidence. AFFIRMED.

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