Willamette Law Online

United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted


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Bailey v. United States

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: June 4, 2012
Case #: 11-770
Opinion Below: 652 F. 3d 197 (2d Cir. 2011).
Full Text Opinion: http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/8ac0814a-126c-45f4-98cf-8072ce69f208/7/doc/07-3719_opn.pdf

Criminal Procedure: Whether Michigan v. Summers, 452 U.S. 692 (1981) allows police officers executing a search warrant to detain an individual who left the premises before the warrant was executed.

Prior to executing a search warrant at Petitioner’s residence, police saw him leaving the residence, detained him about one mile away and placed him under arrest after finding narcotics and weapons in plain view at the residence.

The district court denied Petitioner’s motion to suppress evidence found on his person as illegal fruits of an invalid detention under the Fourth Amendment and held that Petitioner’s detention was justified under Michigan v. Summers as the detention of an occupant incident to the execution of a search warrant. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling and held that reasonableness for detention was the cornerstone of Fourth Amendment analysis, and that such a detention was reasonable because to hold otherwise would strip law enforcement of the capacity to exercise command of the situation when Summers recognized that they most needed it. The Court of Appeals subsequently denied rehearing. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider whether a detention of an individual who has recently left premises to be searched under a warrant falls under Summers, which imposes a duty on officers to identify an individual in the process of leaving the premises subject to search and detain him as soon as practicable.

Petitioner argues that pursuant to U.S. v. Sherrill officers may not detain an individual incident to the execution of a search warrant when the individual has left the immediate vicinity of the premises to be searched. Petitioner additionally argues that the intrusiveness of a stop on the street is much greater than it would be in a house, and that the officers no longer have an interest in minimizing risk or preventing flight since the individual has already left the area.