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NCJ Number: 63939 Find in a Library
Title: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - SEARCH AND SEIZURE - WARRANTLESS SEARCHES - UNITED STATES V. CHADWICK - 433 U.S. 1 (1977)
Journal: NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL LAW REVIEW  Volume:24  Dated:(1978)  Pages:481-501
Author(s): M JULIAN
Corporate Author: New York Law School
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: New York Law School
New York, NY 10013
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: IN UNITED STATES V. CHADWICK, THE U.S. SUPREME COURT APPLIED A TEST OF EXIGENCY TO A SEARCH OF PERSONAL PROPERTY SEIZED FROM LAWFULLY ARRESTED OWNERS AND EMPHASIZED THE PRIVACY OF PERSONAL LUGGAGE.
Abstract: THE CONSTITUTION PROHIBITS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS FROM CONDUCTING UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES AND SETS FORTH A PROBABLE CAUSE STANDARD FOR ISSUING SEARCH WARRANTS. THE PRESUMPTION OF INVALIDITY ARISING FROM A WARRANTLESS SEARCH CAN BE REBUTTED BY SHOWING EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES THAT OUTWEIGH THE NEED FOR THE CONSTITUTIONALLY-MANDATED SEARCH WARRANT. THIS TEST OF EXIGENCY WAS APPLIED IN THE CHADWICK CASE. FEDERAL NARCOTICS AGENTS ARRESTED THREE PERSONS AT A TRAIN STATION IN BOSTON, MASS. AFTER A FOOTLOCKER WAS CLAIMED BY SUSPECTS AND MOVED FROM THE BAGGAGE SECTION OF THE DEPOT TO A WAITING AREA, SUSPECTS PLACED THE LUGGAGE IN THE TRUNK OF AN AUTOMOBILE. FEDERAL AGENTS TOOK EXCLUSIVE CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE AND OPENED THE FOOTLOCKER WITHOUT A SEARCH WARRANT OR OWNER CONSENT. THEY CONFISCATED 200 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA. CHADWICK WAS INDICTED FOR CONSPIRACY AND POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE. THIS DECISION DID NOT EQUATE SEARCH AND SEIZURE OF THE AUTOMOBILE WITH PROPERTY INTRUSION OF A MORE PERSONAL NATURE; THE SPECIFIC CONCERN WAS WITH PROPERTY IN THE POSSESSION OF THE TRUE OWNER. REASONING THAT THE FOURTH AMENDMENT WAS DESIGNED PRIMARILY TO PROTECT INDIVIDUAL PRIVACY, THE CHADWICK COURT EMPHASIZED PRIVACY INTERESTS WHICH ATTACH TO ITEMS SUCH AS PERSONAL LUGGAGE AND DECIDED THIS TYPE OF PROPERTY SHOULD NOT BE CLASSIFIED WITH OTHER LESS PRIVATE AND MORE MOBILE OBJECTS SUCH AS AUTOMOBILES. THE COURT EXPLAINED THAT SEARCHING LUGGAGE VIOLATED A STRONGER PRIVACY INTEREST THAN SEIZING LUGGAGE. IF THE REASONING OF THE CHADWICK DECISION IS EXTENDED TO OTHER SEARCH AND SEIZURE CONTEXTS, IT SEEMS THAT THE SPECIAL EXCEPTION FOR AUTOMOBILES IS AN UNFORTUNATE RELAXATION OF THE WARRANT REQUIREMENT. THE ANALYSIS OF CASE LAW FOCUSES ON THE PROHIBITION OF UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES BY TH 14TH AMENDMENT. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Judicial decisions; Massachusetts; Right of privacy; Search and seizure; Search and seizure laws; US Supreme Court
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63939

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