United States v. Nora

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-28-2014
  • Case #: 12-50485
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Watford for the Court; Circuit Judges Fletcher and M. Smith
  • Full Text Opinion

Evidence must be suppressed if it was seized after arresting a suspect inside his home without first obtaining an arrest warrant or showing an exception to the warrant requirement.

Johnny Nora appealed the district court’s decision to deny his “motion to suppress the evidence seized from his home.” Here, two police officers saw three men standing on the sidewalk outside Nora’s home. “The officers lost sight of the men for a few seconds,” and then saw two of the men, Nora included, standing on the porch, and one man in the front yard. The officers attempted to talk with the men, when Nora abruptly turned to go into the house. The officers saw that “Nora was holding a blue-steel semi-automatic handgun.” Nora ignored the officers’ shouts to stop and entered the house. The officers called for backup and a standoff ensued until officers ordered everyone in the house to come out. Nora exited the house, was handcuffed, and then searched. Marijuana and cash was found on Nora’s person, and after “Nora made several incriminating statements,” police determined his identity, did a background check, and obtained a search warrant for his home. Evidence was seized from the house and Nora was charged accordingly. The Ninth Circuit reviewed “whether the police violated Nora’s Fourth Amendment rights when they searched his home.” Under the Payton rule, “the Fourth Amendment forbids arresting a suspect inside his home unless the police first obtain an arrest warrant or an exception to the warrant requirement applies.” Evidence seized after a violation of this rule must be suppressed. The panel determined that Nora’s arrest violated the rule because “the officers didn’t obtain an arrest warrant,” and forcing Nora outside constituted an in-house arrest. The panel found no exception to the warrant requirement. Therefore, the panel determined that the evidence seized must be suppressed. The district court’s decision to deny the motion to suppress was reversed, and the case remanded for further proceedings. REVERSED and REMANDED.

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