United States v. King

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 03-08-2013
  • Case #: 11-10182
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Graber for the Court; Circuit Judge Tallman; Dissent by Circuit Judge Berzon
  • Full Text Opinion

The Fourth Amendment permits a suspicionless search of a probationer’s residence when, as part of a probation agreement, the probationer has accepted a suspicionless-search condition.

Marcel Daron King was suspected of homicide by police officers while on probation for another violation. King’s probation agreement included: “[d]efendant is subject to a warrantless search condition…with or without probable cause….” Upon searching King’s residence, officers found a shotgun, and King was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The district court denied King’s motion to suppress the shotgun and held that the officers had reasonable suspicion to conduct the search. The Ninth Circuit found that the police lacked reasonable suspicion, but that the motion to suppress was properly denied under United States v. Baker. However, Baker has since been overruled. The panel weighed the degree to which the suspicionless search intruded on King’s reduced expectation of privacy due to his status as a probationer with the governmental interests of discovering criminal activity, preventing destruction of evidence, and probationer’s successful completion of probation. Ultimately, the panel found that the search of King’s residence was reasonable and held that a suspicionless search does not violate the Fourth Amendment when it is conducted pursuant to a suspicionless-search condition of a probation agreement. AFFIRMED.

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