Monday, November 25, 2013

US v. Arreguin, No. 12-50484 (11-22-13)(Goodwin with Nelson and N. Smith).

Anyone, especially defendants, who might have a guest stay over, and might not want the DEA rummaging through their house, can breath a bit easier. The 9th here holds that the police, in getting third party consent, has to assess whether the "guest" can give consent to, say, a master bedroom, with two doors leading to it. This case involved the DEA going to a house suspected of drug activity, and knocking and announcing at around 11 a.m. The door was opened by a "sleepy" woman, determined by the DEA to be a guest. The DEA saw the other occupants of the house, one of whom disappeared with a shoebox and reappeared. The DEA got a "consent" to come in and look around from the guest and drugs and money were found in the bedroom and in the car. The DEA had no warrant, and before they could do a search, they needed to gather more information as to the guest's "apparent authority" for the search, and consent, than what was given. Who was this person, and what was the extent of her authority? The 9th ordered the suppression of items of evidence found in the bedroom, and remanded to determine whether statements and other evidence seized should be suppressed as "poisonous fruit." The 9th signaled, perhaps, its inclination with a cite where such evidence was suppressed.


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