2019 Editions

Complete Winter 2019 Edition



Recent Cases and Notes

People v. Ovieda
(2019) __ Cal.5th __ [2019 WL 3771911]
On August 13, 2019, the California Supreme Court in Ovieda rejected the idea that “community caretaking” is an independent exception to the warrant requirement. Instead, the court ruled that, with the exception of vehicle inventory searches, no warrantless search may be justified on the basis of a perceived emergency or imminent threat unless the search was reasonable under the standards applicable to traditional exigent circumstances; i.e., the need for the search must have outweighed its intrusiveness. Specifically, the court said: "We conclude that an entry for reasons short of a perceived emergency, or similar exigency, fails to satisfy the relevant constitutional standard." This ruling is consistent with what we have said previously on the subject; e.g., because community caretaking situations are not as serious as traditional exigent circumstances, a search or seizure based on a threat to people or property will ordinarily be upheld only if the officers’ response was relatively nonintrusive. Thus, an entry or search of a residence (such as occurred in Ovieda) will not be upheld unless would have been justified under the traditional exigent circumstances exception.

People v. Rubio
(2019) __ Cal.5th __ [2019 WL 3331305] ISSUE: Did a warrantless entry into a garage fall within the “community caretaking” exception to the warrant requirement?

Gonzalez v. Moreno
(1st Cir. 2019) 919 F.3d 582
ISSUE: Was a suspect's consent to search his computer invalid because the officers lied to him about their reasons for wanting to search it?

U.S. v. Landeros
(9th Cir. 2019) 913 F.3d 862
ISSUE: While conducting a traffic stop, may officers demand that passengers identify themselves?

People v. Caro
(2019) 7 Cal.5th 463
ISSUES: (1) Did an officer violate the Fourth Amendment by seizing a murder suspect’s clothing that had been removed in a hospital by emergency room staff? (2) Was a warrant required to seize evidence obtained from the defendant’s person while she underwent surgery? (3) Did the presence of investigators in the operating room, and their taking of photos, constitute an illegal search? (4) Was the defendant “in custody” for Miranda purpose when she was later questioned by investigators?

People v. Molano
(2019) __ Cal.5th __ [2019 WL 2621826]
ISSUES: (1) Did investigators violate Miranda by lying to a murder suspect about their reasons for wanting to interview him? (2) Did the suspect reinitiate questioning after he invoked his Miranda rights?

People v. Sanchez
(2019) 7 Cal.5th 14
ISSUE: In ID cases, under what circumstances may officers show a witness a single photo of the suspect, as opposed to conducting a photo or live lineup?

Mitchell v. Wisconsin
(2019) __ U.S. __ [139 S.Ct. 2525]
ISSUE: If a DUI arrestee is unconscious, must officers obtain a search warrant before ordering a blood draw?

Correction: In the article on lineups in the Spring-Summer edition, we said that sequential lineups will be mandatory beginning in 2020. That was an error. They are not mandatory.

People v. Anthony
(2019) 32 Cal.App.5th 1102
ISSUE: After a suspect in a gang-related murder invoked his right to counsel, did a detective violate Miranda by questioning him about a related murder?

People v. Korte
(9th Cir. 2019) 918 F.3d 750
ISSUE: Did officers violate the Fourth Amendment by conducting a warrantless search of the defendant's car and by installing a GPS tracking device?

People v. Orozco
(2019) 32 Cal.App.5th 802
ISSUE: Did officers violate Miranda when, after a murder suspect invoked, they placed him in a room with his girlfriend and asked her to question him about the crime?

People v. Westerfield
(2019) 6 Cal.5th 632
ISSUE: In the investigation into the abduction and murder of a seven-year old girl, did the affidavits in support of five search warrants establish probable cause?