United States v. Scott

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Appellate Procedure
  • Date Filed: 11-26-2012
  • Case #: 11-10529
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Bybee for the Court; Circuit Judge Arnold; Concurrence by Circuit Judge Rawlinson
  • Full Text Opinion

Despite the lack of a timely written response to a motion to suppress, the government’s oral argument and written response to the magistrate judge’s recommendation preserve its automobile exception argument for appeal.

Defendant, Lomando Scott, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and a firearm. Scott moved to suppress evidence of these crimes discovered during a warrantless search of his car. After the government failed to file a timely written response to Scott’s motion, only raising its substantive arguments orally, the magistrate judge recommended that Scott’s motion to suppress be granted. At the district court level, the government argued that the search was permissible under the automobile exception to the warrant requirement. However, the district court adopted the magistrate judge’s recommendation. The government appealed, and Scott argued that the government waived its argument by failing to raise it by a timely written filing in response to the motion to suppress. The Court determined that by presenting its substantive arguments orally at the suppression hearing and in its written response to the magistrate judge’s report, the government preserved its automobile exception argument for appeal. The Court further held that the warrantless search of Scott’s car was permissible under the automobile exception to the warrant requirement. REVERSED.

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